My family hosted an open house a year ago to show off a new barn we just built. We were pleased that roughly 200 people came to our farm that Sunday afternoon, but we were really taken back by their questions. Come to find out, our neighbors had no idea what the barn was for or why we built it. Nor did they know the true size and scale of our operation. And it wasn’t because they were stupid; it was because we had not done a good job in communicating to the people that live right next door to our farm.

Often times, we as farmers get too tied up in the daily grind of farm life. We’re busy harvesting crops, fixing a broken tractor, delivering a calf, etc. We run out of gas at the end of the day and then we just assume consumers will either understand or figure out what is going on in our business, or worse yet, not care. It’s not a good excuse, but it’s the truth.

Farmers are no different than old friends getting caught up in their hectic lives only to realize two years have passed since they last spoke. It’s an honest oversight, however, it is time we change that.

This year, I challenge all dairy farmers to do a better job in communicating with the general public about their operations. Consumers are interested in what we are doing and we have nothing to hide. I will be doing my part through this blog, which will hopefully provide good information and insight into an industry we all hold dear.