Firstly, if you didn’t just read the title in Heath Ledger’s Joker voice, we’ll probably never be friends. Nothing against you, I’m sure you’re a lovely person, but I’m a bit of a superhero nerd and birds of a feather, right? Following my last (and first!) blog post about advocating for the dairy industry I realized that we may have an even bigger problem. Are we . . . FUN enough? I know that what’s fun to me may not be fun to you, but have we lost our sense of fun all together? Here’s what I’ve learned in my advocacy journey, fun sells. Say you’re standing in front of an audience of 100 people, 50 of them care about what you’re saying and the other 50 just don’t. Do you know how to capture everyone’s attention? Make it fun. If your information is good the first 50 people will be satisfied; if it’s fun, the other 50 will pay attention and learn something as well. It doesn’t have to be an elaborately thought out plan, just a photo of a calf licking a cat with a clever caption or maybe a selfie of you and your brother celebrating some meaningless victory by drinking sparkling grape juice out of shot glasses (which we do a little too often). Why shouldn’t we value fun? A few years ago, my brother and I joined a local young farmers group. At each meeting, there was either a speaker or a tour related to agriculture. Being the not-so-silent participant that I am, it didn’t take me long to start suggesting fun, new ideas. So, I said, “Why don’t we go bowling? Who doesn’t love to bowl?” I was amazed at how many people said that if it wasn’t farm related they wouldn’t be attending. Guys, we have one of the most dangerously, serious jobs on this planet, and I know exactly how hard it can be . . . so why shouldn’t we value fun? I do a LOT of un-fun things throughout my day but I actively look for the fun in everything. It’s as simple as drawing smiley faces behind the pregnant cows at herd check or leaving little drawings for your brother on the dry erase board in the parlor. Finding the fun in the day to day can make farm life a lot less stressful.
The author dairies in partnership with her parents and brother at Spruce Row Farm in Pennsylvania. Jessica is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, and since 2015, she has been active in promoting dairy in her local community. You can find her and her 250 Jersey cows on Facebook at Spruce Row Dairy or on Instagram at @seejessfarm.