“Some advice I would give someone starting social media for their dairy would be if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything,” Link says. “There is a lot of negative stuff out there, but I’d love to see more dairy farmers showing positive stories about what we do. It’s important to address the negative, but do it in a positive way and move on.”
Her passion for the dairy industry is part of the reason she was chosen to speak for The Udder Truth video series. The video that featured SwissLane debunked common dairy myths associated with larger farms.
A common misconception about large farms is they are owned by corporations only looking to make money, and don’t care about their cows. SwissLane was able to showcase their large family in the video while explaining that families are running the majority of farms in the country, even the large ones. Link also discussed how much they truly care for their cows. They are taking milk, feed and manure samples on a daily basis to make sure their cows are healthy.
“The better care we take of them, the better they’re going to perform for us,” Link says in the video.
Another myth the video targeted is that large farms pollute the environment. Most people don’t realize that many dairy farmers are actually looking for greener opportunities, Link says. Not only is SwissLane working become a more sustainable operation, but they are helping their community while doing it.
The Oesch family has a pit on their farm that holds 8 million pounds of manure. They currently partner with their local energy company, which is using the manure in their methane digester to provide power for 110 homes in their community.
“It’s something we are really excited to be part of,” Link says. “We love working with our cows and providing dairy to consumers, but any time you can help make your community better, it is an added bonus. We’re lucky to have that opportunity.”
The Udder Truth videos provided a great opportunity for dairy farmers to speak for themselves and answer questions that people have about the industry. There are many undercover videos being released trying to condemn the dairy industry and farmers in general. It’s important for everyone involved in the industry to share the positive stories and great work that is happening all over the country, Link says.
“Every time I hear about another undercover video being released, it really turns my stomach,” Link says. “I get sad and frustrated just thinking about it, but unfortunately for this generation, it is the new normal. We need to realize anyone who comes on our farm has the ability to record everything. That means we need to over communicate to employees our values and standards we have set in place. Then we need to look at our day-to-day business and ask ourselves ‘are we okay with everything that is happening being recorded?’ Because it can be.”
When approached about filming the Udder Truth video on SwissLane, Link’s first instinct was to turn it down. She assumed there was a better option out there somewhere, but after discussing it with her family, they all agreed that if they truly want to be open and transparent, this was a perfect opportunity. Link says her hope is that her video, along with the other two focused on myths surrounding antibiotics and cow health, will show people the true side of dairy.