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In the News: Staff Columns

The biggest mistake ag advocates make

Tuesday, September 4, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joanna Guza, digital communications manager
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Last month, I saw several of my Facebook friends sharing a negative post created by an activist group that was degrading to FFA and 4-H. The post was obnoxious and inaccurate — and, unfortunately, did exactly what the group intended for it to do.

During my two years of working for DBA, I have learned a lot about the dos and don’ts of social media.

With a better understanding of how the social media beast works, I have found one specific mistake that agriculture advocates need to stop doing immediately.

I will admit, I used to fall victim to this tactic.

What is the big mistake?

Advocates of agriculture who are eager to defend farming practices fall into the trap of engaging — liking, commenting, sharing and clicking on — negative content. What you accidentally do is spread the negative content even farther and among non-activists. That’s exactly what the opponents of animal agriculture want.

What to do instead?
This is going to be difficult — ignore it. If people don’t engage with the post, it will die off much more quickly. And, if only activists are engaging with it, then it will only reach their activist friends. So, if you notice that a friend has shared a negative post, send your friend a private message with a word of caution.

How can you make it better?
Share something positive about your farm. Use a photo or video to show the care you give your animals. Do not even reference the activist’s post. We all make mistakes, but it is important that we learn from them. Moving forward, as tough as it might be, turn the other cheek to negativity and focus on the positives of the dairy community.

Please reach out to me for support at or 920-883-0020 x109.

Graphic credit: Don Schindler of Dairy Management Inc.

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