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How can ag companies support farmers connecting with consumers?


I recently attended the 2022 Connect Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, and it featured a panel of some of the country’s top dairy farming influencers. These dairy farmers and a veterinarian have large audiences of consumers who directly engage with them and follow their posts daily.

The panel, titled Discover Why Generation Z Will Fall In Love With Dairy, featured Dr. Marissa Hake: @CalfVet_; Evelyn and Claudia Luebner: @nyfarmgirls; Tara Vander Dussen: @taravanderdussen; Dan Venteicher: @iowadairyfarmer; and Annaliese Wagner: @modfarmchick; and was moderated by longtime agvocate and AGDAILY columnist Michelle Miller – @thefarmbabe.

A question was asked about what ag companies can do to help support these influencers’ efforts. Here’s how they answered.

“You need to pay them to advocate,” Hake said, with others sharing her sentiment. Long gone are the days when simply sharing an influencer’s content was enough. Ag companies should be hiring these authentic farmer voices and letting them craft the content that reaches consumers.

Vander Dussen added that, “Ag companies have relationships with our big food consumers like McDonald’s. Use those relationships to help introduce us to them.” These large companies reach millions through their advertising and a relationship with them could help tell ag’s story to a much bigger audience in an authentic way.

Hake said companies also should work to create advocates within their own organizations, emphasizing how ag needs more voices sharing its story while connecting with consumers. We are all in this together.

I couldn’t agree more that ag companies should have strong industry advocates and they should use their marketing dollars to help promote their products and help them gather a larger consumer following. People may follow brands on social media, but they engage with other people, especially the farmer influencers.

If you are a dairy farmer and would like to get started using social media to reach consumers and share your story, please reach out to your local dairy checkoff. They have many resources and are willing to help. Or you can reach out to me at

To learn more about your national and local dairy checkoffs, visit or send a request to join our Dairy Checkoff Facebook Group.

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