Sunday, August 2, 2009

Dairy awareness #moo -ving on up in Twitter


To those of you unfamiliar with the micro-blogging service Twitter, #moo has become quite the topic this Sunday afternoon. Words preceded by the # symbol are known as hashtags in Twitter lingo and are used as a label to help people find topics they are interested when searching through "tweets".

So what's the big deal about #moo?

Early last week, dairy families across our country received another painfully low milk check. Many of us thought that by the middle of summer we would have seen a price improvement, but that has yet to materialize. As bills pile up and losses mount due to the dairy pricing crisis, many of us have started feeling the emotional strain. As a way to do something silly and cheer ourselves up, a few dairymen with Twitter accounts suggested people use the #moo hashtag in their posts as a shout-out in support of America's dairy farm families. It caught on within the tweeting ag community and pretty soon #moo started showing up regularly within our discussions.

Then a farmer from Ohio, @FarmerHaley to be exact, raised it to a whole new level. Around mid-week, he stated his simple birthday wish: that people would use #moo in their posts on Sunday afternoon to support and bring awareness to America's dairy farmers. His wish was retweeted (repeated) many, many times and once Sunday afternoon rolled around #moo did indeed become a trending, or popular, topic on Twitter.

Not only have farmers and agricultural enthusiasts helped make #moo so popular, but its popularity has caught on with the tweeting public-at-large. And several folks, including fellow tweeting dairyman @RayLinDairy and @JPlovesCotton have worked diligently all afternoon to make people aware of what #moo is all about.

As a dairy farmer, I am very appreciative of the efforts that have been made to bring awareness to the situation our nation's dairy farm families are facing. I'm also thankful for all the people who aren't involved in agriculture who have taken time to simply explore what this afternoon's hot topic is all about. It's been a tough few months and the next several will continue to be challenging, but knowing there are people out there supporting you and appreciative of what you do really motivates a person to keep pressing forward.

So again, thanks to all of you who #moo! Keep it up, and keep on purchasing delicious, healthy dairy products!


Kathy said...

Social media has allowed dairy farmers to tell their story to the public. Carry on! #moo

M.A. said...

Just doing my part to spread the word and keep the #moovement going. See What's #Moo?.