Today is National Ag Day, there are blog posts and social media mentions of this day all over my social media feeds from all of my ag friends, celebrating the day that has been created to recognize our industry. There are so many posts and tweets and hashtags revolving around this day that I can’t even begin to keep up.
I’m sure the people in the cotton candy industry have the same problems on December 7th, which happens to be National Cotton Candy Day.
I’m not knocking any of the posts about our day in the limelight. I hope that all of the social media buzz helps connect more people back to the farm where their food started. When I started thinking about what post I wanted to write for today I couldn’t decide between a challenge for my ag followers or a message for my non ag followers, so I am writing both…
To my non-farm friends…
Thank you. Too often I see farmers telling you to thank them for feeding you, but I don’t often see us thanking you for buying our products. It may seem silly to thank you for eating, I mean unless you’re the gal who thinks she can live off of sunlight (which didn’t work out well for her) you have to eat. However, I could milk cows and grow crops all day long but without the people that buy milk, butter, cheese and ice cream, our farm wouldn’t be in business. You are my customer and the dairy products you buy are what keeps me on the farm doing what I love.
To my farm friends…
This winter as I have travelled around the country talking to different groups, I have told the story of how I first learned to connect with our customers. It has nothing to do with social media and doesn’t require an internet connection.
My challenge to you is to thank your customers… in person!
Back when I first started on the farm, my father in law and I were going to some meeting that I can’t even remember. We stopped at Kwik Trip for something and while I was looking for some caffeine out of the corner of my eye I saw him stop a woman that was carrying a gallon of milk to the counter. I turned to see what the hell he was doing and watched him stick out his massive paw to shake her hand. I could hear him tell her that he was a dairy farmer and that he just wanted to tell her thank you for being a customer. She smiled and she thanked him in return and I saw the connection that he made with her in less than 30 seconds. I can’t remember anything else about that day but I remember that. I suspect the woman he thanked probably remembered the dairy farmer that thanked her for buying milk, every time she grabbed a gallon, for a long time.
I don’t care if you are a livestock or crop farmer, we all grow something that ends up in the grocery store in one form or another. From pork chops to corn flakes to apples to a loaf of bread, your farm had a hand in the products that fill those grocery carts and it’s time we all offer up a little customer appreciation.
So farmers and ranchers, do you have the 30 seconds it takes to thank your customers? If you think this is silly or isn’t worth your time, think about the last time you did business with a company that didn’t show you a little customer appreciation. Do you still do business with them?