Sing a little song about your daily work, even when it smells . Make your message fun. Upload to YouTube from your smart phone. Share it with the world. A family dairy farmer down in Alabama has developed quite a following for his work and his cows doing just that. Will Gilmer, also known as “The Singing Dairyman”, creates “Moo Tube Minutes” to educate people how their milk is produced and give a voice to dairy farmers.
During my social media training and ag advocacy workshops, I really enjoy showing his “Water n Poo” video to help other farmers understand that telling their story doesn’t have to be limited by lack of high-speed internet, video editing software or having pages of science on-hand. Will and I sat down recently to discuss why he sings from his tractor, tweets from the telephone and blogs about his cows. He points to the simplicity of telling agriculture’s story through social media, how dairy judging gave him the initial confidence to speak up and ways you can make an impact.
Thanks to Will for setting an example for other farmers and explaining how they can give social media a chance. “Give it a shot and try it…” says the dairyman who filmed his video on a phone while driving a tractor and spreading manure, making a song about nutrient management fun. Also, congratulations to Will for his work chairman of the American Farm Bureau Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers. I hope he sings from the podium for them!
Why do these types of messages work? My take: 1) It’s authentic 2) Puts common agricultural practices in a in terms that people can understand 3) Gives human element to farming (a ‘face on the plate’) 4) Provides a glimpse inside food production and 5) It’s fun.
You don’t have to sing, but I hope Will has inspired you to find your own microphone to help people where their food comes from. It could be church parking lot conversations, Facebook ag facts, tweeting from your tractor, visiting an elected official, talking to your neighbors, or grabbing a Flip video cam to shoot video on your farm. The method doesn’t matter – your voice does.