Nov. 30 2016 08:01 AM

    Have you watched a video on your phone this week? Was it on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube?

    If you are like most Americans, you watched something. Maybe it was an amazing football catch, a local breaking news story, or a quick one-minute recipe. Facebook gets about 8 million video views each day, and YouTube claims the average viewing session is now more than 40 minutes.

    Why are we watching so much video online?

    Because video is the preferred format on social media and it’s 12 times more like to be shared than text. So if you want your message seen, then you should be making a video.

    What are some tips for making a good farm video?

    1. Capture attention right away. You have three seconds to grab someone’s attention as they scroll through their social feed so start with action and not with an interview.

    2. Don’t make it hard to watch. You should have good lighting (outside but not direct sunlight), decent audio (add closed captioning to video), and don’t make it very long (1 to 4 minutes).

    3. People love sharing humor, education, and/or a useful video. Animals make great subjects because they’ll probably do something funny and it gives you the opportunity to talk about cow care.

    Courtesy of American Dairy Association of Indiana Inc.

    How do you edit your video?

    Editing videos is much easier than it used to be. Most phones have software built in to make basic edits like trimming a clip or adding two clips together, but if you want to add music or text, there are a lot of easy-to-use apps out there.

    A couple of free apps I use are Video Show and iMovie. Both allow you to combine multiple videos and photos together, add music, use filters, and add special effects.

    Within the Dairy Hub, we have several tutorials on how to use Video Show and iMovie as well as more tips on taking videos on the farm. You can join the Dairy HUB here.

    What should you video on your farm?

    I think some of the best content comes from how you would conduct a farm tour. You could do quick videos on each subject of the tour and answer the common questions that come up during a tour.

    -Calves: While some may scoff at calf videos, remember that calves are our kittens and kittens rule the Internet. Talk about the amazing care you give them while you are feeding them.

    -Housing: Every farm is different with housing, and you can explain why your cows in your environment benefit the most from the housing you are providing for them.

    -Milking parlor: There’s a lot of myths around how cows are milked, and you can set the record straight by showcasing the care you take to make sure your cows are comfortable when they are milking.

    -Cow feed: The advancements in cow feed are great for cow’s health and her production but a consumer might find it hard to understand. Take the time to explain (maybe even get your nutritionist on video) your cows’ diet and why you feed what you do.

    Where do you put your farm videos?

    Your Facebook Farm Page is a great place to put these videos along with a farm YouTube Channel and then on your farm website. If you need help with setting these channels up, we have tutorials within the Dairy Hub.

    If you have any questions about how to make a video, please reach out to your local state and regional checkoff or you can contact me direct at

    Don Schindler

    The author is a Senior Vice President of Digital Initiatives at Dairy Management Inc.