New years are many times celebrated with new resolutions. I challenge you this year to make one step to promote dairy right where you are. In your classroom, community or computer, there are many ways you can help in sharing your dairy story.
Many times teachers and professors allow students to choose topics for projects. Whether you make a virtual tour of your farm, research the nutritional value of dairy in diets or teach elementary students about the new Old McDonald, there are plenty of ways you can incorporate dairy into the discussion.
Many schools seek out farms which they can visit. My own family farm hosts school children, provides guided tours, and treats are provided through UDIM and my parents. As a dairy in your community, you can grow beyond Ag in the Classroom and open up to the community. Many people are curious to learn what is behind those parlor walls and now more than ever is a time to show farmers have nothing to hide. We all care about providing safe, healthy and nutritious products for your family and ours.
Get online! There are many social networking sites you can use to share your story or look for great ideas. My Dairy Toolkit is a great social media toolkit which provides overviews of different social media outlets. There are fact sheets, talking points and you can connect with other dairy advocates. Contact your local dairy checkoff for more information to gain access.
Proud to Dairy, an extension of Progressive Dairyman, is a ning network where you can make friends, post blogs and even look for dairy employment! http://proudtodairy.ning.com/index.php
is connecting dairy men, women and linking them coast to coast.
Don’t forget about the standards: blogs, Facebook, twitter and the list goes on. Maybe you have always wanted to share your daily farm life with others. Maybe you read an article you want others to know about. Maybe you are looking for ways to bring dairy into the lives of the everyday consumer. Social media connects and expands the impacts you make on the farm and takes them around the world.
This year, make it your resolution to share your dairy. Agriculture is under attack. Skepticism, confused consumers and anti-agriculture groups are making it difficult for farmers to succeed. How do we overcome these challenges? We step up and open up. The work ethic found on the farm is nothing compared to the passion we agriculturalists have for our industry. Let’s take that passion, sweat, blood and tears. Let’s make more than milk. Let’s make 2010 a time for getting personal.