EPISODE 7 – Have you ever had 800,000+ visitors on your farm?

In this episode of Your Dairy Checkoff Podcast, our farmer hosts have a conversation with Allison Ryan from MVP Dairy, and Brittany Snyder from the Adopt A Cow Program about virtual farm tours, especially how to handle when things go wrong with a live audience.

Many state and regional checkoffs including national and local farmers give virtual farm tours to industry professionals like dietitians and dairy buyers as well as tens of thousands of school children every year. While virtual tours don’t give the smell and feel of the farm, they have proven to reach thousands of people via recording no matter where and who they are. But what happens when things go sideways while you are live because farmers know all too well anything can happen on the farm! Tune in as Georgia dairy farmer Katelin Benkoski and Iowa dairy farmer Dan Venteicher converse with these tour giving experts on how to address those awkward situations, technology fails, and even tough questions from the crowd.

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

Dairy Farmer Hosts:
Katelin Benkoski – Georgia Dairy Farmer
Dan Venteicher – Iowa Dairy Farmer

Industry Experts:
Allison Ryan – Director of Marketing and Communications, MVP Dairy LLC – Allison has worked 12+ years in communications and marketing for the dairy industry, but my passion for the farming community spans well beyond my professional career.
Britney Snyder – Dairy Education Program Manager for the Dairy Excellence Foundation. Brittany joined the Center in 2018 and oversees the youth development programs and Discover Dairy curriculum for the Dairy Excellence Foundation. She graduated from Delaware Valley University with a bachelor’s in agribusiness management. Brittany is a native from Berks County and served as the first alternate dairy princess on the 2016-2017 Pennsylvania State Royalty Team.

Transcription

Britney Snyder 0:00
In 2011, one of our staff members actually, her son came home with an adopt a Jaguar from Africa. And that yeah, and she kind of looked at this and she goes, if I can adopt a jaguar, we can adopt cows. This past year we impact about 800,000 students worldwide with the adaptive cow programs. We’ve done a survey where we saw a 40% increase in students choosing dairy for their lunches and their school snacks because of this program because they learned about dairy.

Dan Venteicher 0:42
Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of your Dairy Checkoff podcast. I am Dan van tycker. I’m a dairy farmer from Iowa. With me today is

Katelin Benkoski 0:52
Hey, y’all. I’m Caitlin bin Caskey from Georgia.

Dan Venteicher 0:56
So we will be the host for today’s discussion on virtual dairy farm tours. We have Allison Ryan, with MVP dairy, we also have Brittany Snyder with the Center for dairy excellence.

Allison Ryan 1:09
Hi, thanks for having us.

Britney Snyder 1:10
Yeah, thank you, we’re excited.

Katelin Benkoski 1:12
Allison, if you want us give us a kind of a background of what you do it with your virtual farm tours, and maybe kind of how you got into starting doing that with your farm.

Allison Ryan 1:21
Sure. So I’m here at MVP dairy, we actually are along alongside a really busy highway and have a great big sign on the side of the or the front of our milking parlor that says come see your cows, we’re actually a dairy that is open to the public to allow people to come in and see what we’re doing. And unfortunately, we had opened just a couple of months before everyone started dealing with COVID. And so we had had, at that time, lots of visitors coming and march rolled around. And we had about 3000 school aged kids scheduled to come visit us. And of course, as everyone knows, we had to cancel those, you know, everyone was kind of switching to a virtual platform at that time, even just from a learning perspective in schools. So we decided to bring the dairy farm to them and offered those groups a virtual option to come tour the dairy instead.

Katelin Benkoski 2:25
So switching from that Live platform on the farm to switching to a virtual platform, what were some of your concerns making that transition, the technology

Allison Ryan 2:35
is always a huge issue. If you’re appealing to a third grade student, or something like that, I’m sure they had their first go at having a zoom or a having to be able to log in and virtually learn as it is. So we knew that there were going to be some obstacles with that right away. We actually waited about a month in and let them kind of work out their own kinks knowing they were going to have to deal with that with their teachers. So we started actually doing some Facebook live virtual tours, one of the first things I had to do was go around and test and see, okay, where are the dead spots around the farm? Where am I going to lose people? You know, we treated it like a live visit at first, as far as planning on my content knew we were going to go in the freestall barns we knew we wanted to go in the milking parlor. So we just did a real in person tour and actually walked around checking for all those dead spots. One of the things that we had found was every time we were going into the carousel, and we would go around to see the Predict spots. I kept losing people and I’d have that that little stage of buffering. So we actually got a Wi Fi booster installed over in that section. It was one of those things to just make sure I could walk around everywhere. I wanted to share and be able to have that great connection.

Katelin Benkoski 3:59
I’m sure you’re like we are with our farm. It’s out of the city and it’s rural area and rural Internet is a challenge, especially when you’re doing zoom calls or virtual anything so I I can understand that. We had the opportunity recently to do the adopter cow program. And so that opened a new door to tell students and kids maybe across the country that couldn’t go on farm tours aren’t available to do virtual farm tours, but they have the opportunity to see dairy education in their classrooms. So can you tell us more about how that adoptive cow program started?

Britney Snyder 4:36
I can Yeah, so the you that’s a cow program. It fits pretty well within classes and really ties in the virtual tour piece. Caitlin and her family were one of the awesome farms we got to work with last year to do that virtual farm tour. But the adopter cow program itself is actually started with a partnership between the dairy excellence Foundation and the American Dairy Association northeast back in 2008. And We started building out our discovered dairy platform together and really just wanting to get first hand experience of dairy farming into the classroom. Later in 2011, one of our staff members, actually, her son came home with an adopt a Jaguar from Africa. And that, yeah, and she kind of looks at this and she goes, if I can adopt a jaguar, we can adopt cows. And the idea has kind of spurred from there. And oh, you know, it kind of started as just a Pennsylvania focus thing, we are based out of Pennsylvania. But over the years, we are now in about 32 different states. And just really getting that in classroom experience with the calves without actually having to bring the cows to the classroom. But this past year, we impact about 100,000 students worldwide with the adoptive cow program. So 800,000 students had the opportunity to join a virtual tour and experience that and we had 20 some foreigners become veterans of the experience and learning how to do virtual tours with us. It was it was an awesome experience. But we continue to do that. And this year, we’re at around 820,000 students in the program are growing inch by inch. I’ve really

Katelin Benkoski 6:15
enjoyed the Adopt cow program and working with you guys. It’s really been neat, like you all talked about earlier to see that spark in somebody’s eyes. My sister showed to the adoptive cows last year, and we took them to shows and it was like, they were like they were famous cows people like, can I take my picture with pumpkin? Oh my gosh, is that? Like, it’s a big deal. I didn’t realize how many kids really were loving this program. And we had some people come visit from like South Florida last year to see that cows

Dan Venteicher 6:47
being active on social media myself, it’s crossed my mind often do I want to do, whether it’s a virtual farm tour, which I have done several of those, but even more like in person farm tours. So the question I’ll start off with Brittany, what concerns have you guys had when you when you started saying, hey, we want to do these kinds of tours,

Britney Snyder 7:07
we definitely come from a different perspective as we help farmers facilitate these farm tours, or we’ll work with farmers because we don’t have a farm ourselves. But we are often the ones that are moderating it. And so from our perspective, that biggest concern was always managing that backend technology and logistics. And then managing that chat feature, especially since the way we’ve always done it on Zoom and then broadcast it onto YouTube. So it is live for absolutely anyone to join at any time, which can be a little intimidating. And Caitlin’s actually been a host farm for that for us. So she understands that intimidation a little bit, we were concerned about trolls, we were concerned about what happens if this person does this. But thankfully, YouTube and zoom, they both can have controls, you can manage that specifically YouTube, you can say they’ve sent a message two times, within three seconds, they’ll be blocked for a minute, or something like that. There’s things you can put on the back end to protect everybody. And we found you really need a team, we have someone moderating the whole thing. Plus, somebody’s watching that chat on the back end. So other than the Wi Fi concerns that you’re already dealing with on the farm, of course, you’ve got the people you’re worried about, it’s always been our biggest concern. But there’s been ways around to protect that. And there’s somebody on the backend that as soon as you see something, if something pops up, you can block it, get rid of it, and really manage that very well. Last year, we did a total of 20, some virtual tours within two months. And I would say there was only one incident for five seconds that we had to just kind of erase it and get rid of it and then move on.

Dan Venteicher 8:46
That’s great. That’s I think you hit the nail on the head that it takes a team of people to make that work well, because I’ve done that tick tock is a great platform, but it’s kind of like the wild, wild west if you want to start doing lives. And I’ve done kind of tours on a Live platform on there. And it can get nuts in the comments section. So that’s really great. Allison, how about you guys,

Allison Ryan 9:06
as far as challenges, whether it be in person or virtual time is always a little bit of a constraint when you have certain things that you need to get done on the farm. I’ve got a carousel for the most part that that operates 24 hours a day. So that’s nice. For other farmers. That’s a little bit of a challenge because sometimes milking does not always match people’s schedule. I love the virtual platform because you can really adapt the time a little bit better in that sense, or even worst case scenario, a pre recorded specialized tour is always a good option too, if it’s not going to fit into your schedule. Now in terms of tough questions, or trolls or anything, a lot of times when person I would say they’re fairly low risk in the sense that they’re just genuinely interested to learn one thing question people always ask us when they come here, hey, can we take pictures? And the answer is yes, we allow people to take pictures when they come in and they see our carousel. That being said, I do have curtains on our viewing windows that I can lower in the event that we have an emergency, whether it’s a virtual situation or an on farm, in person, it’s planning for the worst case scenario, and how you’re going to handle that. In the curtains for me, it’s it’s a good because everyone has their cell phones out. And I’m, I’m less worried about them posting something negative as I am just about posting something out of context, that then gets taken by someone else, in turn, negative, whether we’re doing something in person or something virtually, it is just planning for, you know, unfortunately, those worst case situations, which is why it’s also always helpful to not be the only one behind the camera, or, or around on the farm. A good rule of thumb during virtual tours is to put your Do Not Disturb on so you’re not getting interrupted. But it is still working dairy farm, and you might get interrupted, you know what I mean? So having someone behind the camera that can field calls, or even a moderator handy, or a backup at the farm that can help, you know, in those rare situations where you do need, need to address an emergency type of situation.

Katelin Benkoski 11:32
I do think when you have people on the farm, when they’re there, they’re genuinely interested, they want to learn. But a lot of times when you open up to those virtual tours, you open up to that platform online, and it’s endless. And you get those people who are just negative and want to say things to you. They would never say to your face in real life. But it’s nice because you can reach a lot of people and you get a lot of positive feedback from that. Allison and Brittany, what’s been the best thing you’ve seen come out of some of the viewership and doing virtual tours online, where’s the biggest benefit that you’ve seen?

Allison Ryan 12:09
I always feel like it’s a win win, you almost see that light bulb go off in someone’s head. You know, occasionally I’ll do live q&a, where people ask a question that you know that it was a question they were asking based on some negative information that’s being shared. You always know how someone’s asking like, why are the calves taken away from their mothers or something like that, you know, what’s kind of in their head, but when you explain it, and they thank you for answering the question in taking time, it’s always so rewarding that you feel like okay, you know, I didn’t reach everyone today. But I made a difference because I was able to connect and have some shared value exchange with, with real or potential dairy consumers.

Britney Snyder 12:55
Yeah, I would second that, and echo that the questions that we get are endless from these chats that we do. And often virtual tours that we’ll do, and we’ll see with our farmers. And the questions can be very unique. But when you see them respond back and say, Oh, my gosh, thank you, I had no idea. And they just genuinely really learned. It’s just a little pat on the back. It’s kind of like, Man, I helped somebody learn today, this is awesome,

Dan Venteicher 13:21
kind of building off of that concept, people asking questions, leaving comments, etc. And I think you kind of touched on this. But how do you? And this can go for both you how do you answer any negative questions, this would be on social media, or like I think Brittany said self will go on YouTube afterwards. You know, if there’s somebody that has a seemingly negative question, how do you answer that? And for myself, there’s times I’ll see what looks like just a nasty question, right? This person has ill intent. It seems like after you start engaging with the person, kind of like you guys have said, all of a sudden, their eyes start opening up and they think well, maybe this is different than what I thought. So I’d be curious to see if you guys have had similar experiences and just and what you do and how you handle those kinds of negative questions.

Britney Snyder 14:05
Anytime we’ve had a negative comments, we would actually and we couldn’t handle it live, or they would comment later on the video, not in the chat. But as a comment, we would comment back and say, we hear your concern. We really like to have a chance to chat with you face to face, can you please email us at this email? So we could set up a time to actually zoom or call and review your question? And almost never do they ever actually respond because they don’t actually want to talk to you. They just want a negative comment. And you have to leave yourself open because they could actually email you and wants to talk. But I think it scares them to think oh, they actually do want to talk to me. And maybe they’re actually not that bad. And so I think just being transparent right away and giving them an option, it does end up helping.

Allison Ryan 14:50
I would agree transparency is always a huge thing. We all know some of the negative questions we’re going to get the more you talk to people or even just doing a little research online with influencers like Dan, where he’s combating misinformation a lot to just be prepared for those types of questions. But when you get a moderator on board for like a zoom call, a lot of times you’re not actually reading those questions, someone’s going to read them to you, or read them out loud for the group. So having the moderator take the question. And although the question might be real kind of nitpicky or rude, she can turn it into a question that will give you an option to answer it in a more helpful way. You know, versus saying, take your calves away from your mother’s, she can say, how do you care for your calves? Because it’s tricky, especially online. Because when people are asking questions, sometimes it’s hard to decipher who’s actually interested in who’s just there to be negative. Sometimes, if you engage in them, you won’t ever hear anything back from them. But then there are other times where they’re genuinely curious, but maybe they’re afraid to ask the question. So other people are watching that exchange online? I do try and take the time to answer those because it’s the other people maybe they’re scared to ask, I’d rather at least have that opportunity to share more and get their questions answered.

Dan Venteicher 16:16
If we can take some of those tough questions, be transparent and answer this, I think that does garner a certain amount of respect from those people who are, even if they’re a little bit negative about it, you know, if they’re at least willing to engage, they see us trying to help them understand and that we’re not trying to hide this. I think for a long time, people thought the dairy industry was trying to hide things. And it’s not necessarily that it’s just for a long time that the dairy industry was in a still is made up of, you know, older individuals, older generations who aren’t adapt to social media, who just don’t have the time or the ambition to do that. And so it’s great to see folks like yourselves and taking some of these tough questions, and just helping people understand why we do what we do. This whole virtual concept in our culture really took off after the pandemic started. We had virtual classes, virtual tours, virtual meetings, everybody did their job, virtually. Where do you guys see the future of these virtual tours for your farm, or the farms you work with? Do you see more of them happening? I had the opportunity to have an eighth grade class on Chicago do a virtual tour. And we’re seeing such a generational gap, the farther and farther we go from each generation to being connected to a farm. And so obviously, you’re never going to be able to get 800,000 people on MVP darier on my farm, but it’s great that they can still somehow connect with a farmer, do you see this virtual tour becoming more widespread across our whole industry? Or do you still see the in person ones having some advantage?

Allison Ryan 17:51
I kind of see it being a combination still moving forward? Because, you know, originally, when I set out to welcome people here to MVP, I don’t know that the virtual program was necessarily top of mind. I mean, social media. Yes, sure. But having the planned or scheduled option for school groups wasn’t necessarily part of that did make us take a step back and really look at man, we really can reach a lot, a lot of people. By doing this, that kind of normality of having those online connections is going to be kind of the new face to face. To an extent I’m a people person, I love having people in person when we can. But this just opens it up to so much more working on trying to do a better job of having even a precursor type of tour available. And then those that are close enough can come in and actually see what we’re doing. I’d say there’s gonna be a combination of, of growth actually, in both,

Britney Snyder 18:58
I would absolutely echo that. I would encourage farms to continue doing in person things as much as you can. But like you said, the reality is not everyone’s close enough to get to a farm in person. So if we can get more farms, open up their doors and allow actual footprints on their farm and get those kids on the farm, then let’s do it. And there’s just nothing as good as tangible touch and learning. But I 100% see, the virtual still growing and, and probably even going more global. It’s not as crazy as that sounds for some people to grasp beyond their farm bounds. I mean, we have 45 other countries in our program that opens up a whole new literal world of opportunities to share our story.

Katelin Benkoski 19:44
What is your biggest piece of advice to get other farmers involved other farmers who want to post the Adopt a cow program or other farms, you want to do virtual farm tours? What’s the biggest thing you would tell them to help get them started in these things?

Allison Ryan 20:00
Well, I would say it’s not as scary as you think technology can be a little bit of a scary type of platform. There are so many resources to help you get started. Every local regional Checkoff Program does have key messages on how to answer some of those tough questions, but also a variety of technology tips and support. I know I’ve mentioned before that, hey, it’s great to have a moderator and also someone behind the camera. Well, I realize also that not everyone has those extra bodies around the farm to be able to do that or stop what they’re doing to help with that. In many cases, I’m sure you can find a willing team member from your Checkoff Program to come and help moderate or even moderating from a different locale is always an option too. So lots of support that you can kind of dig into.

Britney Snyder 20:56
Yep. Our advice would be to not let the technology scare you. I think back at my parents we I grew up on a very small dairy farm in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and we love doing in person tours. But if you would have ever told them to get on their phone and do something, they would have just shut down completely. And so I understand that fear of not knowing what to do. So, like Allison said, come to your checkoff. If you ever decide to join the adopter cow program, we walk you through those steps and checkoff helps us with that as well they provide the resource is like a headset or a gimbal. And then we’ll walk the farmer through step by step, okay, you’re going to say this here, you’re going to do this spot next. And we do rehearsals. So I encourage you to do rehearsal, walk yourself through the farm, predict things need to be able to open this gate to get through here, can there be somebody there to open the gate for me without taking their whole time, can they just be there for five minutes thinks through those things that could happen, maybe have a bucket of grains sitting somewhere, when you get to that point, you can show them that grain, you’re not fussing to try and like get the grain and hold your phone at the same time. So just thinking ahead and trying to have some kind of team, if you can, at least one person helping you. But that would be our best advice.

Allison Ryan 22:14
A good place to start, if you’re not ready to tackle in person q&a, or a tour and to maybe join in on some of the conversations that are happening on social media, I always welcome when other farmers are commenting what they do, because you recognize not every farm is going to be a cookie cutter. demonstration, we all do things a little bit differently. And it’s awesome when other farmers support some of those online conversations that are happening. But the second part to that is to be supportive of one another, you know, nothing kind of burns me up more than other farmers putting other farmers down, just because they don’t do it a specific way. But I love you know, the farmers that are out there recognizing that, hey, we do it this way. But how they do it is a great way to because that’s what works for him.

Dan Venteicher 23:07
The next question I had is, do you guys have anything new or exciting in your mind that you are thinking about trying terms of virtual tours, for example, of something we’ve considered doing on our farm. So we have our Laylee vector, which is the kitchen, we’ve considered putting like a live stream in there. So people can just hop on and watch the claw doing a thing, make some feed? So that’s something we’ve kind of debated doing that comes with its own risks and challenges. Do you guys see anything? Do you have any cool ideas? Or do you see anything virtually that you’d want to try kind of coming down the pipeline.

Britney Snyder 23:46
So I can actually give a little tease sneak peek, maybe we are actually developing a discovered airy app that will direct directly we’ll be working with the adoptive cow program and the submersion of the virtual tour and their experience with their calf. The goal one day down the line in a couple of years is that they’ll be able to select their cow and their account on the app and the 3d image of their cow will pop up and give them an update on how their cow is doing and what she eating now and how big is she and be able to really bring it to a personal experience. So it’s not necessarily a virtual tour, but it’s going to help build up to that virtual tour at the end of the really going to attach and feel like they belong with that cow. I mean, they already do with the way the program is, but we’re excited to really help build that connection and and just help them you know, learn and trust dairy farmers. That’s the ultimate goal, right? So anything you can do in your virtual tour, is to just help your viewer build trust in you. So that’s kind of our goal with this with this app to build that trust to then when we get to that tour, we can have really great conversation. There

Allison Ryan 24:57
are lots of ideas. I would love to Do some virtual tours jointly with some other farms, because there are certain things that people don’t see when they come here, for example, our calves are only here for a couple of days, and then they go to another farm to be raised. So you don’t see that we have a carousel that a lot of people don’t have. But I don’t have robot, I think that there would be a lot of merit into a joint sort of virtual platform. Some other things that I think, say the fourth grade class comes, well, let’s bring them back for the fifth grade or another time. And it’s sort of offering different topics, because you can dive into so many pieces and parts of the farm and do a tour just on environmental practices. Maybe it’s a science class that comes out and they have that option to be more of a science based thing, or you have little little kids that are more just interested in the cows and they they’re not concerned about the manure or you know, different pieces and parts where we can kind of hone in and continue to get people engaged on different levels.

Katelin Benkoski 26:02
How do you continue to grow your viewership for the virtual farm tours? How do you get new people to come in and be interested in share something new with them?

Britney Snyder 26:12
Yeah, that’s a that’s kind of a constant question for us. How do we make sure we’re still reaching those people and, and really giving the full experience for the farmer? Because I mean, ultimately, we can’t do what we do without having the farmer and we’re essentially just helping the farmer provide that virtual tour, I would say, the best way that we’ve been able to build viewership is just to constantly be putting out a good product, and answering questions when you go stale, or stagnant or stop answering people, it’ll frustrate people. And they might think you’re off the grid or something, it’s just a matter of being present, which can be really time demanding and consuming. And the farmers often don’t have time for that. But if you have a way of at least just being present, always they realize they can depend on you for answers. So that’s what we try to do. We’ll try to do tours. You know, we do a lot of them in the spring. But we’ll still do a few tours in the in the fall time and emails throughout the year and just keep people involved.

Katelin Benkoski 27:11
Last year, we got Valentine’s for one of the cows like the kids cut out hearts and glitter and mailed them to Stella, you know, so that was kind of fun. So it’s nice to see some of those aspects. So Alison, what about you? How have you been growing viewership?

Allison Ryan 27:24
Well, you know, the dairy industry’s ever evolving, right? So as we make updates on our farm, or we tackle new problems, I think we try and bring people along for that ride. I think also listening to the questions they have, and how can we take that and better serve them maybe the next time. So we have interactive displays here as well. And one of the things that I’m tackling is a project based on reproduction and genetic improvement. And of course, that is a tough subject in many pieces and parts, but it comes up inevitably in the spot where it comes up is exactly right, where it’s going to be placed in our area. I don’t feel that I’m the best suited person to be telling them about the birds and the bees, but we’d rather control those messages versus leave it up to them to figure it out. So we’re, we’re working on it.

Dan Venteicher 28:20
I’ve talked to a lot of different farmers. And one of the complaints that to be honest I do see sometimes is people wonder what’s checkoff doing and I think what people don’t realize is how much you know, checkoff is doing so with your farm and with the adoptive cow and you guys can decide who wants to go first. How is Chuck off been helping you with your farm and doing these virtual tours and with the adopter collar, everything else you guys do? How was checkout been helping you guys make these things succeed?

Britney Snyder 28:48
I’ll be quite frank without checkoff, we would not be existing. Our entire program started with our partnership with the American Dairy Association ne partnered with them in 2008 for discovered dairy and then put in just advice in general as we continue to grow our program to 2011 when we started adopted cow, and then it slowly just kept expanding. And Midwest Dairy was one of the first ones that saw our program, adopt a cow specifically and said, can we partner and they’re one of our largest partners now. And that’s happening with a lot of check offs. We actually work with 11 of the check offs across the country to make this happen to reach through a little under 40 of the states. So it’s exciting how much we’ve grown in the last two years specifically, but yes, it was harder and checkoff dollars are going to support this adoptive cow program. And it’s how many

Dan Venteicher 29:41
people would you say that’s allowed you to reach? said something earlier? Yeah. 100,000 What was that mean? That was just one.

Britney Snyder 29:51
That was just one year last year we had about 800,000, folks and this year we have 820,000 students and teachers now last Last year, we have a very unknown number of, of who we actually reached because that was 100,000 students, whereas many times it was a family that was signing up because they were stuck at home. We were actually reaching the whole family but they only signed up for their one student. So the impact could be endless. Yeah, it was. It was awesome. And it’s truly the the checkoff recognizing that this program can really get into the schools and into the homes and said, We’re going to invest in this and partner with you. And we are very excited to continue growing this program and provide that opportunity and, and I know our main topic is virtual tours and to keep doing that as well and grow and make that a better opportunity to get people on the farm as much as we can.

Dan Venteicher 30:43
And as a farmer that makes me glad to hear that. Holy smokes, you know, my checkoff dollars are going through some really good stuff. How about you guys? Allison,

Allison Ryan 30:52
I really rely on our local checkoff group here at a Mideast for keeping me up to date on the most valuable key messages that I should be sharing, being a resource to even set up the virtual tour opportunities. Right before I joined on today. I have participated in an ADA Mideast hosted virtual tour and did a half an hour did a talk with about 14,000 folks on that call that they did the moderation they came in one of them. Aaron Brown did awesome job following me around through the barns and and helping kind of keep me on track and time and everything. And whereas I had Tristan spar, one of the other local ladies was behind the computer sort of moderating. And, you know, I know there’s always a dead spot or have to get from point A to B, where she threw in some fun trivia to allow that time did some polling. But they’re just always game to help with whatever I need or, you know, some support on helping make things successful. So when we’re back to full person in person events, I know they’re only a call away to get some extra support out here or extra resources that are available to us. That’s great.

Katelin Benkoski 32:21
Yeah, I think it’s definitely made. The Checkoff Program has made very more tangible in the everyday lives of people rather than just seeing billboards that say got milk. So that’s a really great way for that to have been a part of they’re a part of these programs. So is there anything else you guys would like to add today as we wrap up, talking about virtual farm tours, the adoptive cow program and dairy in general?

Allison Ryan 32:45
You know, one thing I should add a lot of the information I share is based off of a lot of science and research. We walk the whole gamut from soil to in our case yogurt cup because all remote is made into yogurt. But from a nutritional standpoint, there are a lot of resources that I utilize the latest and greatest on dairy nutrition, which I know that’s a little bit out of the normal wheelhouse and we’re in the barns talking but it does come up people are asking about lactose intolerance people are asking about, you know, I don’t drink drink milk, but I love cheese and yogurt. How am I getting, you know, still good, good source of nutrients. So there’s a lot of information that I know. You know, checkoff funds research that I’m able to take that information and share it back to those that are interested in even using them as a For more information, you know, visit their website, find out more about that topic. So if it’s something not in my normal wheelhouse, I know where to direct them.

Katelin Benkoski 33:47
That’s fantastic that you can build that and pass it back as well that helps the Checkoff Program, keep evolving and keep being relevant in our everyday lives and it’s making the dairy farmers dollar valuable. Thank you, Brittany. And thank you, Allison, for our discussion today. You guys gave a lot of great insight, a lot of great information and hopefully checkoff and dairy farmers can benefit from this today. So, in closing, this is Caitlin binkowski from Georgia, and

Dan Venteicher 34:16
isn’t the event tanker from Iowa. Appreciate you guys being here.

Katelin Benkoski 34:19
Yeah. Thank you for having us as your host for your Dairy Checkoff podcast. For our listeners joining us today. If you’d like to hear more about various issues affecting the dairy industry. Please subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast platforms, including Stitcher, Spotify and iTunes or you can check out our website at Dairy Checkoff. podcast.com for future episodes. Until next time, Y’all have a great day.

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