June 10 2021 10:29 AM

As farmers, we must be the ones to share good news and real information about dairy.

There are so many articles, shows, and movies that discourage people from eating and drinking dairy products. They say when you drink milk, you’re drinking “puss” and taking in all the antibiotics. We, the actual farmers, know this is not true, and we also know how nutritious our products are.

Have you ever heard the saying, “If you hear it enough, you begin to think it’s true”? That is their way of thinking. My question is, what are we going to do about it? Who has the bigger outreach?

Some may think it would be impossible to take on these big organizations that want to abolish animal agriculture, but this is our livelihood. For my family, dairy farming is all we have ever done. To us, someone saying milk contains puss sounds ignorant, but to the average person outside of agriculture, it’s hard to look over this statement without wanting to know more.

They end up looking for information on Google or asking Siri. Then loads of junk pours through from these large organizations that have a sole purpose of abolishing animal agriculture, no matter how many times they put that cute, lonely puppy dog up on the screen with that Sarah McLachlan song in the background asking for your money. A huge portion of that money is then used against dairy, poultry, swine, and so on.

I have written many blogs about this topic, but it is very important for us as farmers to get our message out there. If you are able, make a farm page on social media. There are many to choose from, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. Let people see your day-to-day operations. Let them see how family farms are run. Farmers are the backbone of this country, and there are people out there who have never even met a farmer.

The reason people become skeptical is a lack of education. They don’t know anything about farming. But they know how to see what is trending on social media when these organizations are swirling another negative article that is 99% incorrect or worded in a way that turns consumers toward a plant-based product. It would be like asking a doctor how to engineer a train.

I know, we have programs within our cooperatives to promote our product, but we as farmers must do a little leg work as well. When someone asks us what we do and we tell them we are a farmer, stop and take a second to get a little more personal with them. Ask them if they have ever been to a farm before. Ask them to follow your page on social media and, if possible, ask them to come see the farm. Tell them the actual nutritional facts about the food we produce. Be nice and pleasant. Give them a good impression.

Let’s not get salty about what these organizations are doing. Instead, put the correct facts out there and spread the information around. Bring families back, closer to the farm.

Have a happy June Dairy Month!

Caitlin and Mark Rodgers

Mark and Caitlin Rodgers are dairy farmers in Dearing, Georgia. The Rodgers have a 400-cow dairy that averages 32,000 pounds of milk. Follow their family farm on Facebook at Hillcrest Farms Inc.