THE Midwest Dairy Assn. (MDA) is harnessing the power of social media to connect farmers with consumers, announcing a contest and campaign to introduce consumers to life on a dairy farm during June Dairy Month.
Using the popular website Pinterest, MDA is inviting consumers to take a virtual tour of dairy farms "across America's heartland, from North Dakota to Arkansas."
Pinterest is a content sharing service that allows members to "pin" images, videos and other objects to their pinboard, and users often integrate their pinboard with their other social media profiles such as Facebook or Twitter.
According to a February report from Reuters, the site now has 25 million members, many of whom are "young, female, well-educated and have disposable income."
MDA, representing more than 9,500 dairy farmers in a 10-state region stretching from the Dakotas and Minnesota to Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma, is one of 19 state and regional marketing and promotion organizations that administers checkoff-funded programming on a local level.
The organization said its so-called "PinTourist" contest is designed to promote farmers' commitment to providing real, fresh and naturally nutrient-rich foods and beverages.
MDA's PinTourists are invited to take a virtual tour of a dairy farm via more than 60 images, including farm scenes, recipes and facts about the dairy industry in each of the states represented by the association.
Each photo "pinned" to the tour's pinboard is accompanied by information about dairy farm families and the products they produce.
Virtual dairy farm visitors taking part in the tour are invited to "like," share and "repin" their favorite photos and recipes using their own social media networks.
Contest entrants will be eligible to win a grocery store gift card and dairy prize package.
The tour starts at www.pinterest.com/midwestdairy.