Picture this: In early December, the Farmer and I spent a few days in Vancouver attending the BC Dairy Conference. On our way into the city, we stopped at a boutique olive oil and balsamic vinegar shop. Fresh bread dipped in their balsamic and extra virgin olive oil? Ohhh my. But I digress…
While paying for my delicious finds, I asked for directions for the quickest way to our hotel. Over the course of the directions, I mentioned that we were in the city for a dairy conference. The sales lady’s eyes lit up. “Can I ask you a few questions?” she exclaimed. If you know me, you’ll know that this is what I love. Generally, my question answering is limited to social media, so a real question from (quite plausibly) one of our own consumers was overwhelmingly exciting for me. In the vehicle in front of the store, waiting for me to finish my shopping, the Farmer knew that something was up. When I get excited, as some of you who know me ‘in real life’ may know, I tend to become very animated. I gesture a lot, and I speak very quickly, probably too quickly 🙂 He could tell just by watching me that I was having a very interesting conversation.
This woman had some questions for me that I had heard multiple times on social media. Her granddaughter loves milk, but this little girl’s mother, the sales lady’s daughter, was concerned about some of the myths she had heard about milk and refused to purchase milk for her daughter. The grandmother was worried, knowing that milk consumption is a crucial part of any childhood. She explained some of her daughter’s concerns:
“Is there pus in milk?” “Is chocolate milk made from bloody milk?” “I heard that the only reason calcium is present in milk is because it is added to milk. Is this true?” “What about added hormones? Isn’t milk full of hormones?”
As I answered her questions as fully as I could given the limited amount of time we had, my mind worked furiously. I already knew that our consumers need a relevant, local source of information that they can trust about the products that we produce and they purchase, but this really brought that fact home to me. I became even more determined to do my utmost to provide access to this type of information. Before leaving, I gave her my blog address as well as our Facebook page, with an invitation to follow our postings there for information about the dairy industry.
I left that store on that cold December afternoon with a renewed feeling of purpose. Reaching customers like this, with genuine questions, brought a feeling of fulfillment. It was a great start to an amazing conference, where we learned so very much about our industry, met many industry representatives and other farmers, and enjoyed a few days away from the farm and our daily labours there.
Since that chance encounter, I’ve been mulling over how best to reach the consumers who have questions like this. I’ve finally decided to write a series of blog posts regarding the common myths about milk and milk products, starting with the most common one: Is there pus in milk? Over the next few months, I will be adding more topics to this series. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know! Additionally, your help in sharing these articles will ensure that consumers looking for answers to these questions will be more likely to find these posts. Thank you!