It was a success and I still can’t believe it! If you had told me a few months ago that I was going to host a virtual tour for kids who couldn’t see the Dairy Council of California’s Mobile Dairy Classroom, I would have laughed in your face! It definitely was not on the top of my list. However, when the need arrived, I could not say no.
Through a collaboration between the Dairy Council of California, the California Milk Advisory Board, and a handful of amazing dairy producers, we set off to do something none of us had ever done before. I would be lying if I said the first sessions went smoothly, but by the end, we were all in the swing of it and were not only educating but entertaining at the same time.
With people from all over logging in every day, we as a team were able to reach well over 10,000 people in a very short time period. At the end of the session, the attendees were presented with a survey that was filled out by many. The surveys showed their love for what we as an industry do and the overwhelming gratitude for taking the time to share the love for what we do.
Through this experience I learned a couple things. One is to always watch your back when presenting in a heifer pen. There were two incidences when I was presenting live and a heifer hit me so hard from behind that I cleared my tripod and camera like a football ripping through the goal posts during an extra point.
The second thing is when there is a need, we need to be there to fill the void. If there is a gap in education, we need to be there. If there is a need for better nutrition, we need to be there.
We as producers are full of knowledge that we feel is common sense, but others see it as a whole new world. Children are so willing to learn new things, and they get so excited to see animals and learn where their food comes from and how it’s made. We need to be the ones to help fill that void. It is our story that needs to be told. It is the truth that needs to be shared.
A big thank you to everyone who helped pull this together, and an even bigger thank you to all those who tuned in to watch! I’m looking forward to what the future holds for our industry and the new ways that we can continue sharing our story.
Tyler Ribeiro is a fourth-generation dairy farmer born and raised in California. He is currently partners with his father at Rib-Arrow Dairy in Tulare where they proudly ship their milk to Land O’Lakes. Tyler is actively involved in the dairy industry, holding leadership roles in various organizations locally and across the United States.