by Cam Sorensen

Creating high quality, safe food products is the goal of almost every producer in the United States. Although I know this to be true, many outspoken consumers seem to feel that producers do not always have their customers’ best interests at heart. This topic has also been on the agenda for many of the dairy meetings across the United States over the past few years, but it is still hard to know what we, as individuals, can do to help promote the dairy industry.

 According to SocialMediaToday, the average person spends around 2 hours per day on different social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. Not only that, but according to the Pew Research Center, about 40 percent of Americans get their news online. Of the people getting their news online, they are more likely to get news from professional sources, but they are NOT more likely to believe news that comes from a professional source over a personal source.

Why is this important? We know that more people are looking to their mobile devices to learn about current events and topics that matter, and we also know that people are just as likely to listen to their friends and family’s opinions as they are to listen to the “professional” sources for news.

 This is great information for us dairy farmers! This means that what we post matters, because our friends and family are listening, and they have the power to share our posts with their friends and family, and on, and on…

 So how do we get started? It’s easy, just pick a, or a few, social media platform(s), and create an account for your farm. Take pictures or write short blips to show what is happening on your farm on a regular basis and invite your friends and family to share your posts on their pages/stories/timelines as well. The more shares your post gets, the more people your post will impact.


 What types of things should we post? PICTURES! Pictures allow you to show people what is going on, on your farm rather than telling them. Did you just have a cute calf born? Is there a beautiful sunset over your fields? Is every one of your stalls being used by a happy cow laying down? Did you just face a pile of feed better than you ever have before? Posting pictures of things that make you smile on your farm are likely to make someone else smile too, as long as you share why it’s important to you.

 It doesn’t matter what you share, all that matters is that you do. Consumers are more disconnected with who produces their food than ever before. But we can fill that gap by approaching them, in a way that is not that intimidating – for either side.

 Why is this something to concern ourselves with, when most everyone is struggling financially? Dairy producers are fundamental to the dairy industry, but so are consumers. If we want our farms to survive and thrive throughout the future, we need to ensure the support of our customers. Increased rules and regulations will only make things harder for us, and we need to be on the forefront of advocating for good dairy practices in order to ensure we have a say in how we run our businesses!