New podcast episodes feature Nebraska success stories
The DWFI communications team has capitalized on engagement growth in the digital space as a result of the pandemic. The Water for Food Podcast continues to be highly successful and now spans 16 episodes, with each new episode averaging 1,000 downloads. In total, the podcast has had nearly 12,000 downloads and attracted listeners from 60 different countries. This newer platform allows DWFI to engage in meaningful, casual conversation with its partners and share these experiences with its stakeholders.
In episode 11, guest host Ankit Chandra, DWFI program coordinator, sat down with Matt Foley, program director for The Combine AgriFood Incubator, to discuss which ag innovations he’s most excited about, where gaps and challenges exist in the agtech ecosystem and more. The Combine is a part of Invest Nebraska, which supports early stage agtech companies in row crop, animal health, digital agriculture and sustainability. The incubator supports founders of these companies through go-to market support, producer connections and seed funding.
DWFI Communications Specialist Arianna Elnes interviewed Crystal Powers, research and extension communications specialist with DWFI and the Nebraska Water Center in episode 12. They dive into the collaboration for managed aquifer recharge between the Central Platte Natural Resource District (CPNRD), the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR), and the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP), as well as private irrigation districts and canal companies. A new book published by UNESCO includes this project as a case study in effective managed aquifer recharge and it was co-authored by Powers.
Social media experiences growth and increased engagement
Building on the previous year, DWFI saw continued growth in followers and engagement across social media during the last fiscal year. On Twitter, a platform designed for up-to-date posting, followers increased by 3% and engagement grew by 13%. On LinkedIn, a platform used for professional information and connections, DWFI gained 47% more followers and, more importantly, engagement grew by 83%.
DWFI’s most engaging content were posts about the Water for Food Global Forum, DWFI’s engagement with and support of agricultural entrepreneurs and posts about exciting Faculty Fellow research. At the end of FY21, DWFI had more than 19,800 followers across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media channels.
Website sees increase in organic search traffic
The DWFI website continues to be the hub for institute news and resources and experienced more than 21,000 visitors with more than 58,000 page views. Notably, there was a 36% increase in organic search traffic to the website — this is traffic that comes to the DWFI website from a search engine like Google, but isn’t the result of paid advertising. Through this, it can be speculated that more people are searching for information about the institute online.
Water for Food Podcast and online engagement
average number of downloads per podcast
increase in followers on LinkedIn
increase in engagement on Twitter
visitors to the DWFI website
page views on the DWFI website
increase in engagement on LinkedIn
With international travel remaining a challenge in Fall 2021, DWFI pivoted plans away from a 2-day, in-person Water for Food Global Conference.
The Nebraska Water Center, in partnership with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s School of Natural Resources, hosted its 2022 Spring Seminar Series online and in person.
The Nebraska Water Center (NWC) trekked across the state to host its annual Nebraska Water Conference in 2021.