Social media should not replace face-to-face advocacy.
Almost every co-op meeting, checkoff organization conference, or dairy industry event includes a speaker or breakout session about telling our story, and for good reason. If we don’t show the world what happens on our dairy farms, someone else will try to do it for us.
Often those advocacy sessions focus on telling our story through social media. Again, there’s a good reason why. Social media gives us access to a nearly limitless audience.
I always say that I can’t give farm tours to thousands of people on a regular basis. There’s not enough time in a day to host daily tours and get chores done. Plus, very few people want to visit my farm in the dead of winter. Social media lets me share my farm and my life 365 days a year.
But social media should not replace in-person advocacy.
In-person advocacy can be as simple as chatting with the person sitting next to you on the airplane (Talk about a captive audience!) or as formal as speaking in public about dairy farming.
I was reminded of the importance of advocating in person earlier this month. Three other dairy farmers and I participated in a panel discussion about farming at a food bloggers event in New York City. After the panel, the most common response I heard was, “That was the best part of this event. I wish we could have had more time to continue the conversation.”
When we tell our story in person...
[Read the rest of this post in the Hoard's Dairyman Notebook.]