You’ve heard the saying, “Celebrities are just like us,” when, in reality, their lifestyles are vastly different than the average person.
What if someone said, “Dairy farmers are just like us?” Would the average person agree? American Dairy Association North East aims to grow connection and build consumers’ trust in dairy because people really do care how their food is produced — and who is producing it.
Our video series “This American Dairy Farmer” was created to develop that consumer connection with those who are producing the milk and dairy products they enjoy. We have featured 34 different farmers since launching the series during the pandemic, when consumers were hungry for interesting online content. Since then, we have racked up more than 3 million views of the episodes.
All the stories we have told show that dairy farmers are incredibly caring (for their animals, land, and communities), unbelievably resilient, completely dedicated, and eternally optimistic. That likely gives them even more credibility than most celebrities!
“We’re so fortunate to have dairy farmers who are willing to tell their personal stories to help build a connection and grow trust with our consumers,” said ADA North East CEO John Chrisman. “These stories help people understand that farmers are totally committed to sustainably producing a safe, wholesome product for all families to enjoy.”
That’s seen in the episode with Lucas Schonfeld from Aurora Ridge Dairy in Aurora, N.Y., who compares his and his father’s triathlon training to how they manage their dairy cows — from fueling their bodies with good nutrition to the technology used to monitor their health.
Or the one with Austin and Lauren Schwartzbeck, a young couple who met showing dairy cattle at the Maryland State Fair and are now an integral part of Austin’s family farm, Peace & Plenty Farm in Union Bridge, Md., where they married during the pandemic.
It’s also clear in our most current episode, released today, about a young dairy farmer from Mercersburg, Pa. Reese Burdette shares the story of her nine-year recovery after she was burned in a house fire at her grandparent’s Virginia dairy farm and spent 662 days in the hospital.
While each story is different, the theme is consistent — dairy farmers care and dairy farmers are, indeed, just like us. To learn more, all episodes of the series can be found here.
Jean Kummer is the industry communications specialist for American Dairy Association North East.