The Canadian dairy sector’s latest marketing campaign connects dairy farmers with young and inquisitive consumers.
Dairy Farmers of Canada’s (DFC’s) Hey Dairy Farmer – Online Classroom Edition features farmers from Saskatchewan and Ontario answering questions from elementary students.
Jasmin Benoit, a dairy farmer from St. Albert, Ont., answers the questions in French and Michael McLeod, a producer from Caronport, Sask., provides answers in English.
In the first videos, students ask what dairy farmers do to help the planet.
The producers explain how Canadian dairy farmers are global leaders in sustainable farming and have low carbon footprints.
Teaching young minds about agriculture and the faces behind their food is crucial.
Without that kind of connection, it’s difficult to build trust between farmers and young consumers, McLeod said.
“If (people) don’t understand where food comes from and how farms work, they won’t have the confidence in us and what we do,” he told Farms.com. “It’s important for all farmers to take those opportunities to educate people every chance we get.”
Teaching kids about agriculture isn’t new to the McLeod family.
Their farm is situated across the road from an elementary school. So, during recess, students can see grazing cows and other farm activities.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, kindergarten classes often visited the farm for tours and education.
Those kinds of tours are good for farmers because they can provide opportunities for farmers to learn about their operations.
“If you think you’ve arrived, you probably haven’t,” McLeod said. “You should always push yourself to learn more and make sure that what you’re saying is accurate. There are less farms, meaning more responsibility is falling onto fewer people’s shoulders. So, we need to take that seriously.”