Wisconsin… Its a loooooong way from Missouri. I honestly never expected to have a guest lecturer in my class from Wisconsin but with modern technology, the awesome and down-to-earth Dairy Carrie had a nice little sit-down with my public relations in agriculture class. If you haven’t heard of Dairy Carrie, you should DEFINITELY check out her stuff.
Carrie Mess is a dairy farming, blogging, twittering, and facebooking agvocate who has brought the honest truth of dairy farming to the public eye. Dairy Carrie was not raised in a farm, in fact she was pretty much a city girl from Madison, Wisconsin. She married into the dairy farming way of life and now lives and works about 300 head on about 300 acres.
Via Skype, Carrie was a guest speaker in our class. When the video call started she was exactly what I expected; a very chipper and enthusiastic lady (who was in a sock hat just in from the barn). Up until i listened to her presentation (more like Q&A session), I never would have known that farming didn’t run in her blood until later in her life. This past AgChat foundation board member has had several accomplishments as an agvocate. Not only have her articles reached national news outlets and businesses (Huffington Post, Panera Bread, and Ryan Gosling just to name a few) but she has also gone international (UK paper called the Guardian) with her article on the recent blizzards. Having read some of her articles prior to the talk, I was excited to get an insider look on what goes on in that brain of hers.
Transparency is her big platform when it comes to telling the stories of agriculture. It’s not the numbers that matter, it’s not the science that matters. its the Stories. There are good days in farming and bad days. The bad days are what make it real. The consumers want transparency. They want to know that even through the bad days, the farmers are doing everything they can to ensure the safety and health of the animals. Dairy Carrie knows what the city people want to know. She’s been there. She also helped me realize that just because they don’t KNOW about where their food comes from and the work done to get that food, doesn’t mean they’re stupid. It is our job to help consumers LEARN, not to EDUCATE consumers.