"Thank you for all you do! We love milk in our home and are very appreciative!"
"I could drink a gallon of milk a day if my husband would let me! I love it. Thanks for all you do."
The comments above were posted on my social media accounts during the launch of the #MilkTruth campaign last Tuesday. Those comments made my day and reminded me of the importance of promoting the dairy industry online.
The #MilkTruth campaign is a proactive initiative organized by the folks at DMI (Dairy Management Inc.) and MilkPEP (Milk Processor Education Program).The goal of the initiative is to provide consumers with the facts they need to make informed decisions about milk and its role in their diets. There's so much inaccurate and misleading information about milk being shared online that it's hard for consumers to find honest answers.
The initiative includes a new website - www.milktruth.com - that shares five basic facts about milk and supports those facts with links to online, third-party articles about milk. The five facts are:
• Milk is a nutrient powerhouse - and it's not just for kids.
• Milk contains a lot that's good, without the "bad" that some people think (like excess calories and fat).
• Milk is simple - especially compared to non-dairy milks that can have more than 10 ingredients.
• Milk provides high-quality protein (almond and other non-dairy milks may have just 1 gram of protein).
• Milk is a real, wholesome and local product from family farms across the nation.
The day-long launch of the initiative featured dairy farmers and other industry folks flooding social media with pro-dairy messages. From my perspective, the launch of the initiative went very well. It was nice to be part of a proactive campaign, rather than one that was trying to react to negative press about the dairy industry. I did get some comments from dairy haters, but I got far more positive comments like the ones above.
One of my favorite comments came from another dairy farmer, following a couple of comments by dairy haters: "I'm a dairy wife, too! It's not only frustrating, but heartbreaking to work so hard and provide such a quality product, only to have people bash milk!"
But, as another dairy farmer wrote, the haters are going to hate and there's nothing we can do about it, so we've just got to shake their comments off and keep posting positive messages. (Hmm...that sounds a little like one of the songs I've been hearing on the radio.)
Really, though, the campaign's messages need to be shared. Messages like "Dairy is a budget-friendly, nutrient-rich food, which helps people get more nutritional bang for their buck." (from a registered dietitian's blog) and "Milk is part of a healthful diet." (from The Washington Post) that in the past, were more likely to be seen on a poster near the dairy case at the grocery store than they were to be seen on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
And these messages need to continue to be shared. The more positive messages that are shared, the more likely we are to reach consumers. If you use social media and you didn't participate in the launch of the campaign, you can still help by sharing the #MilkTruth posts that show up in your news feeds.
If you don't use social media, you can help by checking out the new #MilkTruth website for yourself and promoting it in conversations you have with consumers. The more traffic the site has, the better it will come up in search engines when someone is looking for information about milk. (Already, when you type in MilkTruth on Google, an animal rights group's blog post about the #MilkTruth campaign comes up as the top search result.)
Hopefully, we'll continue to get comments about milk like this one:
"I never knew that. Thanks for sharing!"