The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.
Last June, Direct Action Everywhere launched an interactive map called Project Counterglow with specific locations of farms and plants across the country. Activists were encouraged to use the map to locate farms and plants in their area and create a "paper trail" for them with photos and videos collected by going to those farms.
On Friday, Project Counterglow posted an update on Facebook encouraging people to submit farm/farmer social media posts, names, addresses, pictures, footage, etc. to feed their site for the month of February. We are closely tracking social media engagement on this topic.
This is a good reminder for all dairy farmers to remain vigilant and be mindful of farm security at all times. We also ask you to refrain from discussing Project Counterglow on social media - we don't want to encourage more people to visit their site or share it to their groups.
Tips to prevent unexpected visitors:
- Do the right thing. Above all else, make sure your farm is exceeding all expectations for animal care, cleanliness and environmental responsibility whether there is a camera on you or not.
- Post "no trespassing" signs. Make it clear that unexpected visitors are not allowed on the property. Signs should appear professionally made to convey the seriousness. Consider customized signs combining these messages or perhaps offering contact information for curious individuals to schedule a tour or appointment.
- Install video surveillance in important areas of your farm.
- Build a relationship with local law enforcement so they understand your farm's needs.
- Hire the right people. Do background checks, reference checks and ask for actual Social Security cards. Put new hires on probation and watch them closely.
- Train employees how to interact with unexpected guests. Employees should contact the owner of the farm about the situation and do not leave visitors unattended.
- Empower employees. Let them know their importance as a team member in protecting your farm, and that you expect them to immediately report any strange behaviors or actions, or if they suspect any undercover activity.
- Stay in touch with ADA Mideast. Call us at 614-890-1800.
If unexpected visitors arrive:
- Respectfully attempt to learn who they are and why they are at your farm.
- Politely ask them to leave and explain why it is necessary.
- Record license plate number and other characteristics about the vehicle and individuals. If they are taking pictures, take pictures of them.
- If you feel threatened, call local law enforcement.
- If someone is flying a drone over your farm, notify them that they are on private property and ask them to leave. Also consider reporting the incident to local law enforcement. You may film the people and their drones, but do NOT touch or shoot drones.