June 12 2018 02:15 PM

Make sure our dairy month outreach goes beyond reaching people who already know about dairy.

As dairy farmers, we all know that June is Dairy Month. It’s a time to celebrate our industry and really work at highlighting our unique stories. This year, I’m looking at it another way.

When we spend 30 days focusing on sharing our story, are we really reaching the people we need to connect with? Or is it another case of our voices being lost in the echo chamber? I recently asked a few friends and acquaintances with no connection at all to the dairy industry if they knew that June was celebrated as Dairy Month. Not one of them did.

Now, of course, after our conversations they did. Kind of like me not knowing that June is also celebrated as Aquarium Month and Turkey Lovers Month. I think this is another example of how we truly need to focus on reaching outside of our industry to tell our story and have the most positive effects.

There truly are so many amazing events that do just that in the month of June. I really encourage each and every one of you to find a way to contribute. The more voices we have sharing our story, the further we all reach.

Just don’t forget to focus on those ways that we really reach outside the choir to maximize our efforts. Reaching those in our circles who have no connection to dairy and benefit the most from gaining that connection to the dairy industry. So from hosting a June Dairy Month tour on your farm to telling the stranger behind you in the grocery line thanks for grabbing that gallon of milk. Make sure all those around you know that it is June Dairy Month!

Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of two young boys who round out the family-run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.