“Innovation is a must. Operating our business and producing the same things the way we did 20 years ago is not a way forward,” said Ken McCarty to those attending the 61st annual meeting of the National Mastitis Council.
That was one of the six key learnings shared by McCarty about his multigenerational farm family that has been in the dairy business for nearly 100 years.
“The future of dairy is mining improvements out of all the data we collect,” continued McCarty, who is shown third from the left with his brothers Clay, David, and Mike.
As McCarty continued to share candid comments about his family’s dairy business, he listed these six key learnings on the screen:
- What was old is new again
- Generational differences are real
- Innovation is a must
- Costs always matters
- Be a storyteller
- Emotions are memories
As for generational differences, McCarty shared, “What my dad values is different than what my children value.” That means how we communicate stories also varies as each generation communicates differently.
“We meet people where they are at,” continued the dairyman. “TikTok. That’s a big communication vehicle for us,” he said of the video-focused social networking service.
McCarty then shared an example about putting a story on social media near Halloween.
“One of our best farm posts was about bat boxes we put up on our dairies,” he said. The post involved a discussion about biodiversity and natural pest control. “Making the post near Halloween really amplified it and helped consumers connect with the farm.”
“We have to remember, emotions are memories,” said the dairyman sincerely to the audience. “If we can create emotional connections, we will have a secure future.”