Some say that in order to be successful, you must be seen, be heard and be recognized. If we were to use that rule of three as a measurement of success, I would say that NYAAC was fairly successful in 2013.
2013 was a year of many firsts for NYAAC, an organization that strives to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation for modern animal agriculture.
Kicking the year off was the introduction of Jessica Ziehm, NYAAC’s first, full-time executive director, who happens to be the wife and daughter of dairy farmers. She lives on her husband’s family farm and raises her two young children and was perfectly positioned with her professional and personal experience to lead this advocacy organization.
NYAAC entered the social media world shortly thereafter with pages on
Facebook and Twitter. With 860 followers between the two, NYAAC’s positive messages about modern animal agriculture were shared near and far. NYAAC also launched this blogsite in 2013, posting articles and updates about New York’s fascinating dairy industry, as well as the projects NYAAC is pursuing.
To assist the farm community and work to empower them to tell their own story, NYAAC offered a couple services in 2013 –farm tour training workshops and a newsletter service. The workshops offered guidance and tips on organizing a farm tour, and provided 70 participants with promotional materials, including a set of ten signs that boasted thought-provoking messages about dairy farms. The newsletter service aided dairy farmers in producing their own personalized newsletter for their non-farm neighbors. Collectively, farm newsletters reached over 10,000 non-farm neighbors in Upstate New York with a very personalized and localized message about dairy farming in their community. The response to both of these services was overwhelmingly positive from both farmers and the public, and we are pleased to offer these services again next year.
The biggest success of the year took place at the New York State Fair, where NYAAC initiated the new Dairy Cow Birthing Center on the west end of the fairgrounds. Over the fair’s 12-day run, NYAAC and its many partners helped deliver 30 baby calves for the public to witness, and learn about New York’s dairy industry and the care farmers give their animals. In doing so, NYAAC attracted over 160,000 urban and suburban fairgoers to our live exhibit and provided the opportunity for farmers, veterinarians and industry reps to engage in conversations with the public. The exhibit was hugely popular and will be continued next year with only a few modifications.
Through those programs, NYAAC was certainly seen and heard by many in 2013. We were also blessed to be recognized through a number of positive emails and notes complimenting our efforts, but more formally from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions. NYAAC was honored to be presented with a second place award from IAFE for our partnered efforts at the New York State Fair with our Dairy Cow Birthing Center.
But when we talk about recognition, none of what took place this past year would have been possible without the immense support from the following organizations. Their time, resources and talents were invaluable to the programs and progress of NYAAC and we thank them and look forward to working with them again in 2014.
American Dairy Association & Dairy Council
New York Beef Producers Association
Cargill Animal Nutrition
Central New York Feeds
Central New York Veterinary Medical Association
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Dairy Farmers of America
Dairylea Cooperative, Inc.
Elanco Animal Health
Farm Credit East
Gold Star Feed & Grain
Holtz Nelson Dairy Consultants
Merck Animal Health
New York Ag in the Classroom
New York Farm Bureau
New York Corn & Soybean Growers Association
New York Dairy Exhibits, Inc.
New York State Fair
New York State Veterinary Medical Society
Northeast Ag & Feed Alliance
Northeast Dairy producers Association
Profesional Dairy Producers Foundation
Rapp Dairy Nutrition, LLC
The Voss Group
Zoetis Animal Health