Most June dairy celebrations have come and gone, but June Dairy Month still has 15 days to go. Are you finding ways to celebrate, educate, or at least partake in three servings of dairy each day?
With 15 days left in the month of June, this and our next two Wednesday blogs will provide five things you can do, on-line, to help promote agriculture and dairy products:
1. Have you created a farm Facebook page? Your dairy friends may already have one, or you may follow others already, but your efforts are not repetitive. Other farms do not have the same friends and family that you do.
If you don't have time to manage a Facebook account, is there someone on your farm who can? Your 12-year-old may be able to operate a camera (or video camera) and share what is happening on your farm with the world. Here are some great examples (you will need to search for many of them while on Facebook.com):
Larson Acres, Inc., Evansville, Wis.
Heartwood Farm, Southwest, Wis. (http://www.facebook.com/HeartwoodFarm.info)
Bode Dairy, Gibbon, Minn.
Vir-Clar Farm, Fond du Lac, Wis.
Rosy-Lane Holsteins LLC, Watertown, Wis.
RNR Swiss, Nashville, Ohio
Feel free to suggest more, and we will add them to this blog.
Quick tip:Also, if you get 100 likes on your page, you can create a custom address like Heartwood Farm's.
Facebook, founded in 2004, now has over 600 million active users – or just under twice as many people as the United States.
2. Start a blog! Blogs are a great way to reach consumers and show what is happening on your farm. Michele Payn-Knoper of Cause Matters corp., has compiled a great list of farm blogs (not just dairy).Click the link to see the listing of farm blogs.
3. Join Twitter (Twitter.com), and search for the #dairy hash-tag to see what people are saying about our products and lifestyle. Then, politely and knowledgably, tweet with others using the #dairy tag (also, follow @HoardsDairyman). Ag lawyer Cari Rincker (@CariRincker and @RinckerLaw on Twitter) has provided a great guide for agriculture producers (her website is http://www.rinckerlaw.com/, but the document link was no longer working. The guide can be found here.
4. Put your first video on YouTube. The infamous Will Gilmer, a third-generation dairyman from Alabama, provides videos – including some music videos – about happenings on his dairy, Gilmer Dairy Farm. Will's most famous track, "Water ‘n Poo," a song about nutrient management, has 30,451 views as of this morning: Many other videos also have over 1,000 views.
5. Be an expert at Quora.com. Quora (as in "Q or A") is a social networking site made to help people find answers to questions. Current questions asked by people from around the globe in the "Dairy Farming" section include:
-When did milkmen go out of fashion?
-Who produces "ethical cheese?"
-Is veal production crueler than with other forms of meat?
Maybe you aren't a complete expert for some of these answers, but you can also vote up or down other people's answers – a vital part to play in this democratic style of answer finding.
These five were easy (and they're all fun). Next week we'll dig deeper to find ways that help you make a real difference about agriculture and dairy in the lives of others.