Episode 18 – Do Social Media Influencers Convince Consumers To Buy Dairy?

Tune in with our dairy farmer hosts, Wisconsin’s Becca Hilby (@beccahilby) and New York’s Val Lavigne (@DairyGalVal), as they talk with Indianapolis Colts mascot “Blue” Trey Mock (@blue) and Philip Fryman (@southernfatty) about how they became social media influencers and how they work with the dairy checkoff to share dairy insights, facts about dairy farming and dairy recipes with consumers.

To learn more about the national dairy checkoff and your local dairy checkoffs, please visit www.usdairy.com.

Dairy Farmer Hosts:

Farmer Host – Becca Hilby – Wisconsin Dairy Farmer

Farmer Host – Val Lavigne – New York Dairy Farmer

Industry Experts:

Guest – Trey Mock – Indianapolis Colts Mascot “Blue”

Guest – Philip Fryman – Southern Fatty – Food Photographer and Social Media Influencer

Transcript (please ignore the typos – it’s machine-generated)

Trey Mock  0:00 

For me, a lot of it is like, yes, I want to educate people. But I also want to give people an opportunity to find joy and find laughter. And I think the best educational videos that we’ve done is where you can kind of mix a little bit of that together. I mean, it is comical to see blue, try to milk a cow and to deliver a cow and to like take a tour because you have this seven foot blue horse walking around the cows, but just the interactions between like blue people watching Blue kind of like be this vessel that’s trying to take you through and educate you, I think has been impactful for us on social media.

Becca Hilby  0:46 

Hi, everyone and welcome to another episode of your Dairy Checkoff podcast. I am Becky Hill be a dairy farmer from Wisconsin, and I’m joined by Val Levine, who is a dairy farmer from New York. We will be the host for today’s discussion on using social media influencers to promote dairy products and dairy farming. Today we’ll be talking to Philip Fryman, also known as Southern fatty and trademark aka blue, the mascot of the Indianapolis Colts will be discussing how they use social media to influence consumers and how they work with the local Dairy Checkoff to promote dairy and dairy farming. So of in-tray, thank you so much for joining us today. Philip, let’s start with you. Can you tell us a little bit more about Southern fatty and how it got started?

Philip Fryman  1:31 

Yeah, so I moved to Nashville probably over 10 years ago now. And I moved there for my first adult, big kid job in a research lab at Vanderbilt. My background is in cancer biology. So I came here and did that. And conda got really bored being in a lab after a few years and created the food blog. I have background a little bit just as a hobby and photography during college landscapes, nothing foods. It was kind of a little bit of a different course I always love to cook and bake things. And it just kind of merged together as an outlet that I needed to get away. And are you doing the blog full time then now sort of so it kind of transitioned from being in a lab to having this blog as a side gig and then the blog as a full time thing. And now it’s kind of transitioned into most of what I do now is with the commercial food photography business. So I have a studio here where I do a lot of brand work and other things. And I still have the blog and my social media outlets as kind of that fun, creative, but also a job kind of outlet.

Val Lavigne  2:47 

a job you love Philip, that’s really interesting. Trey, do you want to tell us about how you got started with the Indianapolis Colts

Trey Mock  2:54 

originally from Marietta, Georgia, I went to Auburn University for architecture never really wanted to be a mascot, but saw I’ll be the mascot at Auburn University for freshman orientation, and was just very drawn to the characters the first time I ever saw a mascot who was super athletic and hilarious. And I was like what is what is the deal with this character. So I tried out kind of on a whim, and ended up becoming part of that program and performing as that character. And then in 2003, we won a national championship for college mascots, which I did not know was the thing. And then I got recruited by the Atlanta Falcons to trial for their team. So I went to the Falcons, then the Buffalo Bills. And then in 2006, I created blue for the Indianapolis Colts, and I’m going into my 17 season at split.

Val Lavigne  3:42 

That’s really cool. It’s funny to think of how you become a mascot for a football team. I mean, it’s just not something that you think when you when I grow up, I want to be a mascot for the Indianapolis Colts. And here you are. And it sounds like you really enjoy it and completely become that character very

Trey Mock  4:02 

much. So I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to be when I grew up.

Val Lavigne  4:04 

Same, same,

Becca Hilby  4:05 

definitely. So how do you share about our dairy products that we produce with consumers. So if we can start with you,

Philip Fryman  4:12 

since I’m mostly a food blogger, it’s pretty easy to incorporate dairy into my recipes. It’s something I already did a lot. And it’s an easy kind of go to I mean, ice cream, savory things, drinks. So most of what I do is creating the recipes using dairy. And then the kind of fun part for me for these partnerships has been including a little bit of a deeper dive into that and showing people where the theory comes from because people tend to forget where their food comes from. So that’s a good point for me to connect with people. It’s something I’m really kind of passionate about the whole background of where your food is coming from.

Becca Hilby  4:52 

I’m glad you said that about people wanting to know where their food comes from, because that has been so apparent in the last few years. And so Oh, I love that you incorporate that, you know, we always tell like dairy farmers how they need to share, but for someone else not in the egg industry, necessarily for to do it. That’s incredible. So thank you for doing that. I mean, I imagined Trey just like chugs chocolate milk after each game. But Troy, do you want to answer that question about how you share our dairy farms and products with your fans?

Trey Mock  5:21 

Yeah, so we basically just post videos of blue chugging chocolate milk after each game

Becca Hilby  5:26 

sold, I’m gonna go buy some chocolate.

Trey Mock  5:28 

No, our relationship started a little bit differently. Before we really got into social media. When Blue was created in 2006. That was the year that Facebook became public. So blue and social media have kind of had the same lifespan, if you will. In 2006, we really started getting into schools doing school shows, and how do you do that as a mascot because a mascot can’t speak. I have an MC, who is kind of our voice and Narrator throughout the show, but we also have a 16 by 10 screen, that we have players and coaches and cheerleaders FaceTime in to the show and speak fluent speech to the students and faculties in 2009. When we formed this partnership with dairy, it was really exciting, because the things that we like to discuss to our younger audience is to be kind, that education is important. But to make sure that you your body is able to do all those things, you really need to fuel up with the right things. And that is where dairy comes in, in a big way. So we started doing that we’ve performed almost 2000 School shows in the state of Indiana, there are now adults who will approach me and say, Hey, I remember when you came into my school when I was in first grade, and now my kids are in first grade. But I remember hearing about dairy all the way back then we really started getting into social media, and trying to find again, a way to speak to everybody. But to really make it unique and educational. I think that’s the biggest draw for us is that we don’t want to just throw something out there. We want to do it with purpose. And when it comes to dairy, the importance of fueling up your body with the right things, which dairy is a massive part of that. And then also doing it in a fun way, but doing it in a way where people gain education and empathy for that industry as well. We’ve done a bunch of dairy farms where we’ll go and do a tour. And hey, what is it like a day in the life on a farm, I think being able to tell that story. And people go, Oh man, not only is this a job, but like the hard work that goes into this and how much love and dedication they have. And then going from that farm to a prep plant, where we can actually see a carton of milk be put together and now giving people appreciation for when you go into lunch and you open up a carton of milk. This is all the work that took place for that to happen. So we’ve really tried to invest our time wisely in those ways. But dairy has been such an amazing partner and we’re super proud to be a part of it. So

Val Lavigne  7:47 

you’ve already basically discussed that you believe in the dairy products and using them in your recipes that you promote on your social media. As we all know, everything’s better with dairy. So Trey, I guess this is more for you than you’ve spoken about how much of a role dairy plays in your life now. Is it something that you’ve always believed in? Were you always a consumer of dairy? How much did you actually know about dairy before getting into this partnership?

Trey Mock  8:17 

Growing up, I knew that I love dairy. I’m not sure at what age I really gravitated to the importance nutritionally that dairy has. But I mean, I grew up drinking whole milk my entire life, there’s still whole milk in my parent’s fridge at home in Georgia. And personally like our kids at the same way they drink water and milk and their preferred drink his milk. I think growing up and seeing a lot of like the godville campaigns and athletes telling you that like oh, this is how you get strong and big like me and grow your bones and strengthen your bones. And I think that definitely impacted me growing up. So we definitely on a personal level, were for sure, utilizing dairy and my childhood home and our home with our kiddos and then the recovery aspect of professional athletes. I mean, we use dairy products all the time here at the Indianapolis Colts complex as the players are training and getting ready. I’ve always been a huge fan of dairy. I mean, I think dairy is delicious. And to be able to take that affinity for it, and also couple it with education and then help other people understand that I think, again, is kind of the key to our success when it comes to social media and educating people.

Becca Hilby  9:25 

That is such a great point. And I think it’s easier to share about dairy if it’s something that’s already like engraved in you. And I think that’s a big thing with influencers. You don’t want to be pushing products that you don’t truly believe in because people aren’t going to believe you when you talk about other products that you might actually like so for both of you did you have much knowledge before you started working with this campaign about how milk gets to the store and how other dairy products are made or have you just learned a lot in the past few years. How have you learned the most like has it been through social media has it been watching videos

Philip Fryman  9:59 

on A thought on new ware, how everything works like a lot of people probably do. I mean, I grew up in Eastern Kentucky, and I was around farms, but not like, on a daily basis, like, you know, it was more kind of a field trip kind of thing. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to educate myself. But to be honest, I think the past few years that I’ve worked with the dairy alliance has been the biggest educational opportunity for myself visiting the farms and talking to the farmers. I know, that’s not easy for everyone to do. But at the same time, I think now with the prevalence of farmers markets and local providers, I know in Nashville, at least, it is not difficult to find a farmer and talk to them. And I have not found a single farmer that doesn’t want to talk to you. It’s been really kind of eye opening to actually talk to the people that do it. I visited two or three dairy farms. Now in Tennessee with the dairy lots. We did a virtual tour, which I thought was a really cool way for people to actually see a farm ask questions as we’re walking around, that, to me that part of social media and farmers being involved directly and driving people to the people online, that whole process has been, I think the best way that I’ve learned about it

Trey Mock  11:19 

would definitely agree with that. I think, going and spending time, through the processes, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge, we have done a couple of videos of going and really learning the process all the way through, and the relationships that we’ve built. And the authenticity of the farmers, it’s been really impactful as people view the videos that you just feel that authenticity. So I knew a good bit. But I definitely didn’t know as much as I know. Now in 2010, I want to say I actually delivered a calf in costume I have done literally just about every job on a farm in costume trying to gain knowledge, but also empathy and appreciation because then we can take that and execute a video that is again, more authentic, transparent, and where people are going to go, oh, I learned something today.

Philip Fryman  12:13 

That’s awesome.

Becca Hilby  12:16 

They have to dry clean it or

Trey Mock  12:19 

No, I actually cleaned the suit myself. I did have on the you know, elbow, deep gloves. So that helped. I did it also in front of an audience of like 75 people, there was a lot of pressure. And it wasn’t the easiest delivery, there was a lot I had to get in there and help assist but the vet who was on staff at this farm, she was like cool, calm and collected the entire time. She was like 10 feet away, right now do this. Alright, now do this. And I was just in a horse costume. Just bringing this this baby out in front of all these people. It was wild. So I have the utmost respect for everything that they do. I really think when people see that, and they’re like, Oh, I just like the way they think about milk. They’re like, yeah, I just go to Meijer or your local local grocery store. And you just go to the refrigerated part and pull out a thing of milk. And then that’s it, the amount of energy and time and logistics and dedication. And I mean generationally that has to take place. It’s just it’s very impressive. And I just want people to know that.

Val Lavigne  13:26 

So it sounds like you got the full on experience there. That’s really,

Trey Mock  13:31 

I was covered in the experience. Yes. That’s

Val Lavigne  13:36 

the story that will live on for ages for you fill up Do you have any memorable stories from visiting farms that you got to experience? I mean, you may not be able to live up to Trey’s big birth story. But do you have any visits to the farm that just really resignate with you and will stay with you.

Philip Fryman  13:54 

I’ll feel cheated. I feel like I need to go back now probably to the last every form I went to about 45 minutes outside of Nashville was a form that I had used products from for a long time and did not realize that they were on the road they had started cheese making and we use that cheese to make some really good like Southern like pepperjack biscuits. It was really fun for me to be able to be one of the first to use that product and kind of made this recipe like the biscuits took them and let the farmers have them kind of they didn’t know I was bringing them so little surprise at the end of it. That was fun to just kind of see it full circle for them. For me, at least the memories that I have with the farmers has been the most memorable. They’re just really connecting with them switching

Becca Hilby  14:42 

gears a little bit to social media, you will share obviously a lot in social media try do want to just start off by what platforms you use. And I guess let’s hear what your favorite platform is.

Trey Mock  14:55 

What we’ll use most platforms Facebook, Instagram Twitter Tiktok. My favorite Instagram used to be my least favorite, because I felt like that platform was kind of a look at me and my life is better than you. And I don’t. That doesn’t vibe with me very well. So we really didn’t put a whole lot of effort into Instagram just because again, if I’m not personally invested, I have a really hard time about being passionate about it. When tick tock was available for the NFL, which was September 19 2019, we kind of went full steam in that because I feel like even though I’m not allowed to use copyrighted music, because we are seen as a commercial account as the NFL, so I can’t do most of the trends. I also can’t speak, my greatest skill set is comedy, and doing that in short form. So we started going pretty hard into Tik Tok. And we currently have the largest North American sports team accounts, we’re at 7.3 million followers on Tiktok for blue, but that kind of changed social media. So short form content is kind of the name of the game right now, you’re seeing that with Instagram reels, Facebook reels, YouTube shorts. So we’re really started hammering that pretty hard. Last year, we went from 23,000 followers to on Instagram, we’re at 169,000. Right now we’re seeing a lot of growth. That’s where the biggest impact is. And we can get the most eyeballs. So short form content. And what I mean by that is vertical content. That’s somewhere in between seven and 15 seconds. We also want to do longer format stuff. When we think about YouTube, like we have a five minute video about, you know, educating people about the process of how your milk goes from farm to calf materia that’s a cow pawn in their calf material. So get them there with short form content, and then hope they stay for the longer form content, which I think is more educational, I would say my favorite type is short form content, we obviously see the most success on Tik Tok, but then I would say now Instagrams, my second favorite, and then Twitter is nice just because blue doesn’t have a voice and I can actually communicate how I feel to the public that has its own kind of special place in my heart as well.

Becca Hilby  17:16 

You know, you you’re really kind of like ahead of the game, because so many of us, Instagram has always kind of been my platform, and I’m still getting used to having to create that catchy short form content. But since you pretty much started on Tik Tok you’re way ahead of the curve. So good thing for you Phillip, what about you? What’s your favorite platform and what other platforms are you on?

Philip Fryman  17:38 

Instagram was probably my favorite. Like you just said I really struggled with a background in photography, Instagram just kind of naturally fit I do agree with Trey though about the platform feeling kind of sterile sometimes so but it’s been my favorite it’s still probably my favorite I’m really moody so I’ll jump around I’m a slow down on warm and speed up on another unfortunately to COC is just probably not gonna happen for me I’m just not really the video type. I’ve done a little bit of started figuring out other ways I think we’re I can use that short form to incorporate. I’ve done a lot of stop motion videos with food that are really kind of fun and like something new for me to do but that’s performed really well on Tik Tok. But I still have Facebook, Twitter, I don’t really use Twitter much. Same with Facebook, I post and share from Instagram to each of those southcombe different audiences on each platform. Most of my Instagram audience is kind of in a certain area it’s typically a lot of younger moms. It’s a food blog that’s fairly common for that and then a little bit older audience on Facebook sometimes and then obviously younger on tick tock so I’ll still like Instagram I’ve definitely slowed down a little just because I’ve found that that’s what works best for me. I don’t really try to force myself to post on a schedule like I did for years, but they’re all still kind of fun. They have their place and I think as long as I don’t force myself to push on each one of them

Val Lavigne  19:13 

how much time do you guys put into your social media accounts every day? Is it something that just kind of flows naturally do you I mean Phillip you just kind of addressed this as far as you know you don’t force yourself to post on a schedule as much anymore. But how much on average do you spend on a post I was looking through your Instagram earlier and it made me hungry just looking at all the delicious food on their tray. Yours makes me feel lazy because I’m not jumping around in adults costume. But how much time are you guys spending on average per day to keep your people engaged and make sure that you’re out there posting?

Philip Fryman  19:54 

I used to spend a lot more time on social media. Like I said, I’ll It varies, but I would almost take to know how much time I spend just engaging with people. And also, it’s really important on those outlets for myself to interact with other food bloggers and other readers and people that are trying really hard if they comment to actually maybe go look at their pictures and say something on there, it’s good for both sides, it makes them realize that they’re seen and it also encourages a little bit more engagement, because that’s changed a little bit people maybe on Instagram, just kind of scroll and I know I’m guilty of it, I don’t spend the time to like and comment, like I want people to do on my content, I think that’s a good way to try to encourage that. But as long as I’m enjoying it still, I’m going to be on there probably a few times, three, four times a day on Instagram or something.

Trey Mock  20:54 

I think there’s a couple different ways you can spend time on the platform. First, you have to understand what the platform is, what’s trending, what videos are being liked that kind of stuff. It’s pretty telling on tick tock, it’s basically cultivated for you. It’s called your for you page on interviews, actually with people, I’ll ask what’s on your for you page, because that’s a pretty good indicator as to like who they are, what content they consume, you have to be in the app and understand content a little bit filled mentioned, really engaging with other content creators, I’ll find a video that I think is hilarious, and then I’ll comment on it. And that video get like 64,000 likes, because we caught something very early that starts to trend and then that is also good for our account. But as far as spending time cultivating so you know, we ideate every single really every single day, but every week we try to come to our department with five ideas from everybody. What are five things that we could do this week. And then there’s obviously some things that we do like blue pies, a lot of people in the face, that’s a comedic stick that has kind of become part of our brand. And those videos do. I mean, crazy views were a lot different from most people were to a lot of trends. I mentioned that earlier because of songs. So if we don’t have rights to something or it’s not licensed by the app that you’re using, we can’t do it. I think it’s interesting, because I spoke at an event. We had like a little summit here at Fair Oaks Farms, and I spoke and some of the dairy farmers were asking me like, hey, how hard is this? And like, Could I do it? And the answer is, yes, absolutely. There is not an exact equation method that everybody uses, I can guarantee you that Philip and I, we post, and we have content, and we film and we edit, and we do all those things, but how we do it. And the material of which we use is completely different. But I think the point is to be authentic, like I mentioned earlier, and just teach us something, I think everybody has the capacity to learn and the desire to want to learn and just be entertained. And we can do these funny viral things that everybody’s doing these trends. But honestly, like a day in the life of a farmer, that would be amazing. Like, take your phone out, put it on record, record your alarm clock, what time are you getting cup? What are you eating for breakfast, show us the feed that you’re using, show us the combination of the feed, because that’s amazing. Like, oh, I didn’t know that cows eat this. There’s a lot of technology that are on farms. And it’s unbelievable. I think that if you would just take the leap of faith and have a little bit of courage that we all would find this really fascinating that you would film a day in the life and it just has to be like two to five second clips, and then put those together. But I think that what this industry does is so impactful. It’s so educational. Anybody can do it. You just have to be yourself and be honest. And I promise you, the audience is there for you. And I think it’s such an amazing industry that if you have the opportunity, you should definitely try

Becca Hilby  24:02 

one thing that I personally as a dairy farmer, I don’t always think that what I’m doing is interesting, because I do the same thing almost every day. And that has been one thing that I have learned over the years is to share literally anything because someone’s gonna find it interesting, either a new calf earlier, and I was feeding it classroom. And that is that’s just what we do. We feed a new calf classroom, but so many people don’t know that they don’t know what classroom is. So anytime that I can just take a few minutes to show that and then start conversations with consumers. It opens the gates to so many more things really important. And I like that you said that it’s obviously time consuming to be on social media. Not everyone wants to do it. And I think that’s fine. But like you said, if you’ve got the time and you’ve got the ability to share your story, I think it’s worth hearing because I’ve I’ve always kind of been under the model that if I don’t share my story, someone else will and they’re probably not going to but they’re not gonna do it how I want to, they’re not gonna shed me and I like that, that I think is right. Do you guys ever get just like stuck on content creation? Do you ever kind of get bored of it? And how do you break out of that? How do you think of new fun ideas,

Philip Fryman  25:14 

I struggle with that a lot, there’s a lot of pressure on accounts are influencers to keep posting and be the first to do this. And a lot of what I have figured out is that I have found maybe an outlet or a type of content that I actually feel like I’m better at and focus on that I try to not spread myself too thin, and just accept that I’m going to miss some of those. But then if I spend some time making content that is popular less often, with better content, it is better for my well being my mental health and for the content itself.

Trey Mock  25:55 

I think that our organization, our fan base, and community wants more content from us, we’ve kind of turned into a content machine, definitely when the pandemic hit when the state of Indiana like I wasn’t allowed to do a lot of appearances, like public facing appearances. And my job is to socially gather people and like put my arms around them and like tell them that they’re loved. And now I’m being told that I have to socially distance so what am I supposed to do? So we actually started a show YouTube show called House of Blue. So my wife was the emcee. And we set up a studio in our garage in our kids had a segment called the Kids Corner, and our kids table and our dog, we animated our dog’s mouth. And she told a joke. And so I think for content for me, it starts from a place of like, what do people need? And where can I kind of fill in a gap? So for that it was I wasn’t able to do school shows, and how can we still make that impact? So it’s always like trying to find a need. For me, a lot of it is like, yes, I want to educate people. But I also want to give people an opportunity to find joy and find laughter. And I think the best educational videos that we’ve done is where you can kind of mix a little bit of that together. I mean, it is comical to see blue, try to milk a cow, and to deliver a cow and to like take a tour because you have this seven foot blue horse walking around college, but just the interactions between like blue people watching Blue kind of like be this vessel that’s trying to take you through and educate you, I think has been impactful for us on social media. As far as like hitting a wall, the thing that we really stress, especially with the Indianapolis Colts with our taking the stigma campaign is that mental health is of the utmost importance for this organization that starts from ownership. So I think there’s definitely days where I feel pressure to post but there’s also days where I’m like, You know what, I’m not in the right mindset to create and to post. And I think, again, like that, that comes through in the content. So I think definitely, like Philip said, my mental health, there’s a correlation between how I feel and how I produce and like the outcome of the video for sure.

Val Lavigne  28:11 

And that definitely rings true even in my own creation and doing things I definitely a wholeheartedly agree with that if you’re not feeling it, and you’re just forcing it, it definitely does not usually have the same authenticity, outreach, etc. as something that you’re really in the zone with. I want to switch gears a touch. And I want to know, you guys have now gotten to work with some different dairy farmers around the country in your area. What surprises you the most about working with farmers,

Philip Fryman  28:44 

oh, a lot of things. I always assumed that there was just a lot of passion that would have to go into that job for people to do it. But one of their farms, we went to the owners, I think the husband had been in farming for a while his wife had originally gone to law school and decided that wasn’t for her. So she turned around and she’s managing a farm. And it was really cool to see the path that a lot of farmers have taken. It was really cool to hear why she did that and how they share that passion and how she’s using kind of those skills in different ways to benefit the farm. So that’s one thing like you mentioned earlier, I would assume a lot of farmers probably don’t feel like they have the time to deal with social media. If there’s somebody on your farm that you think might enjoy that hand over the reins and let them go outside of your original question, I guess but I think the passion it’s just an that seems like such an easy answer. But it’s incredible to experience and see the work that goes in to producing and like I said earlier if people can to talk or see a farm or talk to a farmer, I think it will change your complete outlook on things. And that’s important. And it will make you enjoy the product more. And it’s memorable. I still remember everything I saw on those farms, and it’s probably things that you all would not think is interesting.

Trey Mock  30:21 

Yeah, I think that’s a really good point about giving the reins over to somebody else. You know, it also like, it doesn’t have to seem like you have to encompass everything. There is our former turf management guys. So the guy who takes care of our grass, and then also like paints, the numbers and everything on the field, he has an account that’s just dedicated to him painting numbers, and just how just enjoyable it is, and satisfying it is for him to like, paint a number on the field. And like what happens when you mess up? Oh, this is what I do. Or like trying to freestyle, someone’s name on the field, or whatever. And it’s just that he is currently with the Steelers, and he has 125,000 followers on Tiktok. It’s literally him just painting and like fixing turf and everything. So maybe there is a brand new calf. And you’re gonna do just kind of a daily check in with that calf. And that’s it. That’s the content. And everybody or is there to follow that calf and like, what’s going on? How is she today? What is she going through? How are you feeling those types of things. So it doesn’t have to be you can give like pretty niche even on the farm. It doesn’t have to be like, Oh, my gosh, I got to do a day in the life every day. And I got to talk about you know this and that the thing? To answer your original question, I think the thing that impresses me the most, and Philip kind of alluded to this is just the passion and the dedication for this industry. The fact that every single morning, you’re getting up, and at the end of the day, you are serving the rest of our world. And that’s what your job is, I just think to, you know, we talked about like, Oh, is it hard to do content? Like, I’ll tell you this, it’s hard to be on a farm. And it’s hard to get up every single day and go, yep, here’s everything we have to do. And then we have to mend and fix all these other things. I don’t know how they do it. How do you guys do anything else, it just seems overwhelming to me. So the amount of appreciation and respect I have for this industry. That’s the thing that just impresses me the most. And just, every single time I’ve been to a dairy farm. And it doesn’t matter if we have a previous relationship with these farmers or not, there is just this unbelievable, just sense of like gratitude, and appreciation and you’re always like, greeted with a smile. And it’s just it’s very heartwarming. And that’s the thing that I think impresses me the most gonna make me tear up

Becca Hilby  32:35 

over here. So one thing that I have a feeling it’s stopping a lot of farmers from sharing on social media is the fear that things are going to be taken out of context, or you know, those activists that love to come in and slander us. Have you guys dealt with any of that being like associated with the dairy industry? And how have you kind of worked through that?

Trey Mock  32:59 

I can take this one first. So no, to answer your question. I think first of all, I live in Indiana. And I think that there is a great appreciation for this industry in Indiana, also like we would never work with or even engage anybody who has that thought. I mean, you post right now I post right now on social media, our content team posts for the Colts accounts. And I mean, we started the season zero wins one loss in a tie, I understand the fear, because we’ll post stuff and no blue will post off and it’s like, Hey Blue, you get in there and play football because you’re better than these guys right now. And the truth is, I’m not I would get hit one time. And you would just have to have my funeral right there where I got hit because I would not get up. You know, that’s not who I’m posting for. I’m not posting for the person who just wants to sit here and complain. I hope that there is a moment of joy that we’re able to give to that person. And maybe that changes their day. I would say this that I was asked one time what the purpose of our school shows are. And is it to generate revenue is to generate fandom? What is the purpose? And I said, Well, yes, it checks a lot of these boxes. But honestly, if we did 1000 School shows, and we found one person, just one person out of 1000 School shows that we impacted enough that we could brighten their day it would change their life or through them someone else’s life than all 1000 shows were impactful because we found the one person. So I would say that’s how I would like to look at social media is maybe there’s another farmer who’s really struggling. Maybe it’s in your community, maybe it’s in another state. Maybe it’s on the other side of the world. And they’re just going through a really hard time and use post something that makes them go you know what, I can do this? Because I’m drawing inspiration from this post. And I would tell you like I would try to use that same sentiment that you just help somebody And I wouldn’t look at views and followers and likes, I would try to more focus on the impacts of the heart. And I think if you kind of keep that at your center, I think it’s easier to kind of go through life and ignore and kind of brush off the negative comments and impacts.

Philip Fryman  35:19 

A little bit of pushback from people, probably 99% of followers were really positive and really enjoyed trying to incorporate that behind the scenes a little bit with the recipes and saying, Hey, this cheese was made down the road, and here are the farmers, I think that helps a little bit. There are always going to be people that don’t read what you wrote, and don’t care what you wrote. And that’s fine. I’ve learned to try to present the information in a way that is a little more inclusive to conversation, a lot of the questions people had like, No, on the virtual farm tour, they were able to ask the farmers questions that they probably aren’t asked every day, but people make assumptions about the realities of a farm. And I think being able to get that information from someone that’s a trusted source, right, like, has a background in, in science, that’s kind of an important topic, especially now being able to get your information from places that are educated and trusted, and your farmers are that source, right? Trying to stay true to that has helped a lot with the kind of the little bit of pushback that I’ve had. And sometimes you can’t get through to it and you just move on the majority of people really are appreciating what you’re sharing. We

Val Lavigne  36:35 

wholeheartedly as dairy farmers appreciate the work that you guys do for us. And I just want to make sure coming from a dairy farmer to tell you, we see you guys, we appreciate you guys. And I love the fact that you guys are hungry to learn more about the industry and hungry to promote the industry. And that really is a very cool thing to hear coming from a dairy farmer. Where do you see this partnership with Dairy Checkoff going and what does the future hold for you in social media?

Philip Fryman  37:05 

It’s definitely changed in the past few years. For me, I’m focusing more on the photography kind of side of things. But some things done I’ve done here Nashville is having done a lot of pictures for the end result of dairy, the restaurants and the markets and the different consumer facing kind of France, I’ve been able to connect with the farmers. And then we’ve done a few little half day Saturday kind of things here where if farmers have a minute or concern, somebody will do an hour where we kind of run through how to take better photos, or how to make better content that the farmers can actually share on their own content pages. So I think kind of leaning out a little bit of social media for myself, I’ve been able to still encourage that and have my place as a photographer teaching others, that it really isn’t that hard. You don’t need a big fancy camera, you know, hold your phone up there and take a picture and say, This is what they’re doing all day today, and people will love it. It’s definitely converted a little bit.

Trey Mock  38:10 

I think our strategy with Darien our partnership is the same as our strategy as a football team. No, we’re continuously our efforts are going to youth marketing, how do we make that next generation of fans? I think the same thing with dairy. And that relationship. I’ve already talked about how there are students who have now graduated from college who saw our shows in first grade and are having families themselves and how do we continue to I think grow with technology and how we communicate, and how we entertain people to really convey that this is an amazing product. I mean, there’s 13 essential nutrients in dairy, which is more than scientifically we knew from a couple years ago. And how do we really convey that and make people go oh, not only like, Is it delicious? And do I enjoy this, this is really good for me, and to create that avid fandom for dairy. So our strategies, really in that sense, not going to change because we’re going to continue to do this Dairy Association of Indiana is literally one of our best partners and the relationships that we have with them and also with our dairy farmers is incredible. And we’re gonna do everything we can to grow that relationship and grow everyone’s relationship with dairy in our community.

Becca Hilby  39:30 

I have one final super important it might be hard to think of but what is each of your favorite dairy product?

Philip Fryman  39:40 

That’s not hard. I’m gonna ask him that and that was the first recipe I think I may have made with the dairy Alliance was ice cream that was the first time the farm itself produced ice cream and have a little the cutest little store outside of Nashville and the most delicious ice cream. It was amazing. We did like a blueberry ice cream with an oatmeal cookie sandwich kind of thing going on. That’s an easy one for me. Poof.

Trey Mock  40:08 

That’s really tough. Because I love so many. I mean ice cream, obviously, cheese might be the winner. But like, honestly, like when it comes down to it, I think it’s a cold glass of whole milk. I mean, that’s what I was raised on. That’s what our kids drink. And I think that our love for it both myself and my wife had just kind of passed on to our kids. So I don’t want it to seem like a basic answer, but like, I think just a glass of cold whole milk for me. But yeah, I think cheese may be number two and ice cream number three, I’m going to eat any dairy that you put in front of me.

Philip Fryman  40:43 

That’s kind of funny that you mentioned that because I grew up every night at dinner. It was with a glass of milk and I am in my late 30s now and I still catch myself doing that

Val Lavigne  40:57 

right there with you milk cheese ice cream, all the dairy given. Thank you Trey and Philip for this awesome discussion. today. It’s been interesting to hear about how you influence consumers with social media. In closing, we just want to say thank you for joining us today. If you want to hear more about various issues affecting the dairy community. Subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast platforms including Stitcher, Spotify and iTunes. Or you can check out our website Dairy Checkoff. podcast.com for future episodes. Until next time, have a good day.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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