Expanding The Role of Social Media in Agriculture Through Dairy Farming
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You may, or may not know that I’ve got spots…
About 10,000 of them in fact.
Probably not the kind your conjuring up in your mind, mine come with a long pink tongue and a pallete finely acclimated to ground up corn stalks. Holstein Dairy Heifers make my world go ‘round.
Now before you say, but ALY you’re always posting pictures of beef cattle, what gives??? I grew up in the beef industry, started my professional career their as well. I then married into the heifer development industry and with that inherited a special love for these kind and curious, black and white bovines. I also work with many beef producers in my client base on a day-to-day basis.
All of that to introduce you to a girl with a passion for these dairy heifers and cows that could light the world on fire. In fact, she sorta, kinda already has.
Tara is going to share with us today about her family operation and the Expanding Role of Social Media in Agriculture Through Dairy Farming.
Representing your business and industry through the use of digital outlets are vital pathways to your individual success.
Hey girl! I absolutely love following along with you and your story, but for those who haven’t been lucky enough to stumble across you yet, tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hi, I'm Tara from New Mexico Milkmaid and I am a fifth-generation dairy farmer.
I was born and raised on a dairy in New Mexico. Now I dairy farm with my husband, Daniel, and our two wonderful daughters, Gwenevere and Anneliese.
We are in partnership with my husband's parents and his brothers and their families. We have a large dairy farm, but we are still a multi-generational, family owned and operated dairy farm.
I am passionate about sharing our story about life on our farm. There are so many misconceptions about farmers and large farms, but I hope to give people a little insight into modern dairy farming through my platforms. My role on our dairy is a little unique.
I am an environmental scientist and work for an environmental consulting company. So our dairy is actually one of my clients. For my dairy clients, I assist them with state and federal regulations, water conservation and sustainable management practices.
I grew up on my family dairy in New Mexico. But when I left for college, I didn't see myself coming back to the farm.
I guess life had other plans for me.
After college, my husband and I got married and I moved back to New Mexico and on to my husband's family dairy. I started working in the dairy industry as an environmental consultant. Now, I can't imagine doing anything else. I love being a part of the dairy community. And I am so passionate about dairy farming. That is why I started blogging and sharing about farming.
There are so many misconceptions about dairy farming online. I wanted a place to share our dairy farm story and tell people more about agriculture. I started using social media in hopes of being a place where consumers could find out more information about dairy farming directly from the farmer.
The biggest benefit that I see is sharing with people what an actual dairy farm looks like. And engaging with consumers about their questions and concerns. I love having a conversation with someone and actually changing their mind about agriculture.
Which platform is your go-to network for connecting with your tribe and why?
I absolutely love Instagram. Dairy farming is very visual and with Instagram it is all about photos. And with the Instagram stories feature, I can give people a look into my day to day life while highlighting key moments in my feed. I also love how easy it is to engage and connect with people on Instagram!
Have you seen a difference in your bottom line directly from using social media?
Nope. As a dairy farmer, we do not have any control over our price. We are price takers not price makers. So social media has no impact on the milk price. (<<< Love your honesty here sister. Not many people understand how little control over pricing and sales that dairy producers have.)
If you could go back and tell yourself something when you started this adventure of using social media professionally, what would it be?
I started blogging over two and a half years ago, but I only really started growing my social media following at the beginning of this year. If I could go back to the beginning of launching my blog, I would tell myself to jump on the social media bandwagon right away! There is so much more opportunity to reach people through social media and lead them back to your blog through your platforms.
Who should we all absolutely be following?
Oh there is so many great AG-vocates to follow online from farming to dairy and beyond. That's why I started the hashtag #farmertofollow. Every Friday I share a new farmer that I think is absolutely worth following. So check out that hashtag and use it to tag farmers you love too!
What is your favorite content type (image/video/etc) and why?
As I said earlier, I love photos on Instagram. But I love videos on Facebook. On Instagram, I love scrolling through photos and giving out lots of love with the double tap. And on Facebook, I love watching videos that share powerful messages, make you laugh and teach you something new. That is why over the last few months, I have been trying to share videos on Facebook that talk about different areas of dairy from cow care to incorporating dairy into a healthy diet.
What is your biggest tip for gaining followers and interaction?
Engagement, Engagement, Engagement. People want to connect with you. They want to talk with farmers and learn about agriculture. I try to respond to almost all the comments on my photos and all the DMs I receive. And I would say this tip is followed by a close second of being authentic. Be you! Don't try to be anyone else. Be true to your farm and your story. People will react so much better when you are real.
Tara – You’re the real MVP here. What you are doing (In your OWN PERSONAL free time) is honestly making a difference for your chosen segment of the cattle industry. I feel like we’re soul sisters.
What I want each of you readers to understand, Tara is using her social impact for the advocate side of things because that is here ultimate goals. BUT each and every tip/thought she presented about using social media is also a valid exercise for those of you using social media for business and marketing purposes. Best use tactics work across the board.
Evaluate what she had to say and figure out how it works within your brand.
And don’t forget, that without freedom in this industry, you wont need to worry about marketing and sales, so make sure you’re adding in some type of advocacy to your platforms on a regular basis.
If you want to follow along with Tara and learn more about her super cool life, check out this links:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/newmexicomilkmaid
Twitter - @NMMilkmaid
Instagram - @newmexicomilkmaid
Website - www.newmexicomilkmaid.com
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/NMMilkmaid/