Tag Archives: Michele Walfred

Mrs. Michele Guest Lecture

Mrs. Michele delivered a helpful guest lecture about social media, developing a brand, and spotting fake news online. Of particular interest to me were her ideas on the potential uses of social media, and how it can tie in with a professional career. I agree with her about having a public, professional social media page for prospective employers to view, as well as a private page for friends to view. I also concurred with her assessment that not having social media or a presence online can be detrimental.

Her emphasis on the importance of developing a trustworthy and positive brand was also interesting to me. I agree that developing a positive brand that employers can take not of is essential to a professional career. Likewise, a negative image is likely to be looked down upon. Thus, it is essential to maintain a positive and professional brand, especially on social media.

Ms. Michele WALFRED on Professional Leadership for Agriculture in the Social Media Era

On September 11, 2019 Ms. Michele Walfred spoke to us about managing social media.  She began with a bit of history about herself and her educational background. She was also a UD alum who wanted to major in art but switched to creative writing because the writing classes were offered later in the day and she felt she would be able to sleep.

Through a series of events that occurred while she was pursuing her education, she ended up altering her plans once again, pursuing a ‘real job’ instead of the Bohemian-style artist life she had envisioned.  She ended up at the UD Agricultural Extension office with no what the 4H program was, believing she might be working with children or seeing eye dogs.  She managed to land a position and earned her Associates and Masters, but along the way she stated, she always tried to take jobs for, ‘what she wanted to do, not what she was good at.’

It was at this point she mentioned Professor Isaacs, a professor who recognized her strengths and directed or recommended her to tasks accordingly.  Ms. Walfred also took the opportunity to go to weekend and evening events on her own volition, looking to increase her skills whenever possible.

After the brief bio, Ms. Walfred showed the class screenshots of the homepages of three of her own websites on different platforms. She noted that across all platforms, her image or headshot was the same.  She recommend we all try something similar to ‘brand ourselves’, expressing creativity through banners, but keeping our message clear on our own ‘search-able’ public sites.  She recommended any potentially controversial images or writings go on separate private accounts, but reminded us that the internet is forever and we must behave and conduct ourselves in a professional manner when putting information and images out into the great wide Web.

Ms. Walfred also stated that complete absence of any digital platform can hurt and then championed Twitter as the platform of choice. She told us that by sharing on our social media we can also champion causes and issues that we care about- an example she used was an article about the highest U.S. suicide rates occurring among veterinarians.  She then showed us a YouTube clip from a movie called, ‘A Bronx Tale’to illustrate a point about how all the ‘little’ actions matter and first impressions count.

Ms. Walfredconcluded by telling us how important social media can be for us in agriculture and to agriculture in general.  First, she stressed the importance of being an, ‘Ag-vocate’ helping the environment in different ways, such as participating in, ‘Meatless Mondays’.  She also mentioned ‘Delaware Ag Week’ and the impressive salaries of Social Media Managers at around ≈$75, 000.  She also touched on the controversy that farmers often face- citing back to Ms. Cartanza’s presentation, namely the damage farming causes to the environment.  A crowd of young males with SmartPhones will not post to their social media about how they are actively learning how not to pollute, the very thing a consumer might accuse them of.

Ms. Walfred ended on a quote that essentially said, ‘“To tell someone they’re wrong, 1st tell them how they’re right” – Blaise Pacal (Paraphrase)’She encourage us to stand up to mis-information while combatting misinformation with facts.


I’ve never really given much thought to how social media can be so powerful in helping to create a positive image for myself . I’ve always seen it as an advertising technique for companies as a way to hopefully gain more recognition. Ms. Michele Walfred’s lecture exposed me to another way to look at social media. We are all brands. We should be using platforms to be positively improving our own image of how we want to be seen. The internet has made so many aspects of our lives easier, but with this power comes responsibility. Today, companies will most likely search your name on the internet while in the interview process for a new job. The company is investing in you when they decide to hire you. They want to know as much as they can before making any kind of commitment. When you work for a company, you are also representing the company and its values. If customers see that they hire well-rounded people, this could greatly improve the company’s image as a whole. One important piece of advice that Ms. Walfred gave is that it is always a good idea to reply to people on social media. People will know that you are paying attention to them and your presence will soar.


On Wednesday September 12th, 2018 we had a guest speaker on the topics of building a personal brand, social media and Ag literacy presented by Michele Walfred. She is a communications specialist for the University of Delaware. She started her guest lecture with information about herself and her journey to where she is now. It was interesting to listen to her talk about how she has continued to learn and grow her skills. It was also interesting when she talked about how she uses social media and what she puts on each of her accounts. During her speech she mentioned ways to build your personal brand on social media. This ranges from the professional side to the personal side. For the professional side she mentioned using it to comment on public pages and ones for potential employers and for the personal side she mentioned using a separate account or posting things that highlight your brand. After this she talked about Ag literacy and how to spot fake news in which they use clickbait captions like “OMG – Alert!” or articles that mention science but has no links to science or research. My favorite piece of information was during the end when she was talking about Ag literacy when she mentioned a post by Huffington Post in which the Facebook presentation was negative and the actual article was factual and led a lot of people to believe in the negative side of it with people not even reading it in the end.

Making Social Media Work for Agriculture, your Career and Brand

Michele Walfred, one of the professors for this course, gave a lecture about social media. In an ag class??? Yes! We learned a lot of important information about self-branding that will really help with our careers in the future, and some background information about social media platforms in general. We were given some examples about posts that would look bad when a future employer looked you up, and how to have a professional profile. My favorite part was when it came to teaching us how to AGvocate. I have been told about this before, having taken many agriculture classes, but it was especially important in the context of social media. Most fake news about agriculture is seen on social media, so being able to respond responsibly to it and give people our side of the story will really help in opening the world’s eyes to how important agriculture really is.

Guest Lecture: Michele Walfred

On September 13th, our class received a guest lecture from Michele Walfred about social media and creating our brand. In today’s age where everything and everyone is online, social media is becoming increasingly more important. Many businesses have social media accounts, and will do background check on a potential employee’s social media profiles before making hiring decisions. For example, if you often post on your Facebook about how much you dislike your job, your coworkers, etc., many employers are going to be less likely to hire you because it comes off as unprofessional. Some of the most important things you can do to build and maintain your personal brand are to be consistent (consistent pictures, descriptions, contact information, etc.), staying professional with good oral and written communication skills, having a professional e-mail address, and to always keep in mind that people you interact with, either professionally or personally, can see what you do online and can form judgements based on that information. It is also important to do your “due diligence,” in fact-checking articles before posting them, avoiding drama, thinking before you send, and various other actions. Lastly, and what I think is most important, is always taking an opportunity to teach someone. Whether someone has misperceptions about agricultural practices, are sharing false information, or just giving general information to someone who isn’t as knowledgeable about a subject as you are, teaching others is one of the most impactful things you can do in your life.