Hello all, My name is Erin Jones and I three days ago I created a Facebook group called I SUPPORT DAIRY FARMERS after my sister came home and told me about the New York State English Regents and ABC bashing dairy farmers in the same day! I decided to make a group after searching for one like it but never expected what I got. In less than 48 hours we have 5,000 members, spanning from here in NYS and as far away as Germany and Alaska. I created the group because I was tired of hearing so many bad things about an industry I love very much and never expected it to spread all over the world. On top of the growth, my sister suggested I ask about what breeds were represented and I wanted to know where people were from so I asked all the members to tell me their State or Country and what breed they represent. I instantly received 100 messages telling about every member. With this I got many messages thanking me for making the group, along with how wonderful they thought it was. It feels amazing to touch so many people with something as simple as a Facebook group.

I started showing reg. Holsteins when I was 8 years old. My dad was raised on a dairy farm and was forced to sell out in the late '70's. He had always stayed in the industry working for many agencies and farms. One day I asked him if I could show a cow and this made him so happy. I leased my first cow through the 4-H lease a calf project from Billy Wright of Preble, NY. Since then I have show all over NYS. My other passion in life is children, I am currently a Elementary Education major in my Jr. year. I will always have dairy cattle and plan to show for as long as possible. My Fiance, Ben, is also a dairyman supporting the golden milk of Guernseys. We met at the Great New York State Fair and I would not have it any other way.

Back to the group, this is more than just a blue line of text! We have discussions about how to better support the dairy industry, share our stories, pictures, thoughts, and websites.

Our biggest discussion has been about Open Dairy Farm Days, which I think are a great idea. They open farms to the public for a day so they can see how hard it really is and what kind of care animals really get. For this to work we need farmers to volunteer to open their farms to the public and sponsors to support cost, like advertising and refreshments.

The other discussion is contacting the media with our side of the story. I feel that this is very important. Originally media was set up to be unbiased and looked at both sides of the story. Today it is no where near that, I find myself asking if I really believe anything they say at all. We are still deciding how to address this issue.

As far as addressing the ABC piece about farming all I Have to say is TALK TO A REAL FARMER, yes those videos were real, but that is the worse case and does not represent the large majority of the people. If you are a consumer please don't believe everything you see on TV. Feel free to talk to a farmer we are friendly people for the most part no different than any other group of people.

I am Erin Jones and I am proud to dairy because I love the animals, and the industry, it is in my blood and I would not have it any other way. Please join the group on Facebook and feel free to ask any questions you may have!

I was born with dairy in my blood and will die feeling the same way!

Thanks, Erin Jones

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