This past week I was able to listen to Carrie Mess, also known as Dairy Carrie, speak about her life and how she uses her blog, Facebook, and Twitter to help or inform others. Carrie is the average Wisconsin dairy farmer, owning 100 milk cows on 300 acres. Although she did not grow up on a farm, she was not far from ag/farm fields. In high school she took ag science classes and she liked them. She said she was a horse girl and married into a dairy farm family. Carrie started her blog two years ago when she was not on the farm. She also started a Facebook page and jumped into twitter when she moved from her town job to the farm. At this time she also bought a business, which was an online business that sold lingerie, and thought the media sights would help promote business. She later sold that business. Carrie said she had found a bunch of farmers on Twitter which was a great resource to ask questions about farming. She was new to diary also used it to learn about cows. The Ag Chat group was also beginning to form on twitter. Carrie has been involved with Ag Chat ever since their 1st conference. Ag Chat shows how to use tools of social media to tell your story.
Carrie decided to launch her blog two years ago and has had 700,000 views so far, most of which was in the last year. The first big thing she did on her blog was host a hay drive due to the southwest drought. She sent 7 sent 7 semi loads of hay down to Oklahoma and Texas. Donations came in from around the globe, even bands such as Cross Canadian Ragweed and Randy Rogers participated.
She explained that you do not want to put a message out that can be taken the wrong way. Social media is no longer about controlling the conversation, but putting information out. Carrie talked about putting the story out that one of her heifers getting hurt and after days of working on her, she died. She told us that PR people do not always to show that side, but it is a part of the story and is something that can be connected too. She also shared that there was not any negative comments. Carrie said that you need to be polished, but not overly polished/smooth in her message. People want someone who is real and that they can connect with. Carrie has a lot of respect for people approach her and say they are not perfect either and continue to tell their stories.
Check out her blog: http://dairycarrie.com/