Dairy farming takes a lot of time. It’s more than a nine-to-five, 40-hour a week profession. With fewer dairy farmers in the U.S. than ever before, our society is lacking easy access to the farmers who supply their milk and dairy products, or are they?
Nearly 80% of the U.S. population has a social media profile. This equals approximately 247 million U.S. social media users as of 2019. Add to that the fact that adults spend more than 6 hours per day on digital media, and there is an enormous social media audience waiting to hear from dairy farmers like our members.
Finding time to chime in on social media is tough. There are cows to milk, calves to raise and crops to tend. Stealing minutes here and there to post and share what you do every day, may seem like an inconvenient nuisance, but it has tremendous payback.
The Academy Awards in February inadvertently called dairy into the news. A well-known actor attacked how dairy farmers care for baby calves in his acceptance speech.
Dairy farmers all over the U.S. were frustrated and eager to correct the mistruths this actor had portrayed. We’re fortunate that a number of news outlets turned to the dairy industry to balance the news coverage. Farmers participated in live interviews on national news networks defending their industry and livelihoods.
Some dairy farmers with active social accounts did more. They shared stories of how they care for calves. They posted pictures and videos of how and why baby calves are often separated from their mothers shortly after birth.
When media storms like this happen we turn to our dairy farmer influencers to help us reach the consuming public. Some of our members are doing a great job at this. But we need to keep our members inspired to contribute and we need more dairy farmer influencers.
To learn more about how to get engaged with social media, check out the webinar recording from our Let’s Get Social webinar. Don Schindler, Senior Vice President of Digital Initiatives for Dairy Management Inc. led the webinar. Dairy Carrie, a well-known and highly regarded dairy farmer and blogger joined Don and together they shared their experiences and provided tips on how other dairy farmers can become more engaged with social media. The webinar recording is available in the member portal under "Resources".