Yet again some how we find ourselves at the end of another year! It’s at this time that I enjoy looking back on the past year and remembering all that has happened. 2017 was yet again another whirlwind of a year! A full and busy farm schedule left things rather quite here on the blog as I focused on our transition to robotics. But I still enjoyed having my own space to share my story. Here’s a look at the 2017 Year End Review: Agvocacy.
Just as I predicted last year, things were really rather neglected here on the blog. I really just needed to be on the farm and focus on our herd. That left little time with my keyboard. I will say that my biggest goal for 2018 is to get back to a consistent blog schedule, right here! Even though I only published 25 posts this year, I still saw a steady growth of traffic to Guernsey Dairy Mama. I’ve enjoyed every comment and email that have headed my way in 2017 from followers. Writing will always be my first passion and I am looking forward to reconnecting with that love in 2018! My personal two favorite posts from this last year were Every Farmer’s Vow and Happily Ever Farmer. While farm life kept us busy, personal trial also tested my resolve this year. That is reflected in my top posts this year, as I shared a very emotional journey with you all. My top 5 most viewed posts were:
- I had a Miscarriage
- Finding Happiness Through Loss
- First week in the Barn
- Finally out to Pasture
- I was at the First Thanksgiving
I was so privileged to continue my journey with the Hoard’s Dairyman blog team in 2017. While my blog here was sporadic with posts, having the Hoard’s deadlines at least kept me consistently writing this past year. I have really enjoyed continuing to write for my peers in the dairy industry. And enjoy the challenge that the change of audience provides to my writing. This year I wrote 21 posts for Hoard’s Dairyman Blog HD Notebook. I shared some of them here as well, but you can find all of my posts here. One of my posts even made it onto the best blogs of 2017 list. Is it Time for Supply Management generated some great conversation. It has been great to hear other farmer’s thoughts on the issues surrounding our milk supply and pricing problems. I am very much looking forward to continuing to write for Hoard’s in 2018!
While I was rather quite here in blog posts, I still enjoyed actively sharing our story in social media on Facebook and Instagram. It has been fun and engaging to double my followers on both platforms this year. Reaching more people then I continue to think is possible! The power of social media is so amazing to me. And even as algorithms change and there are often times I feel completely clueless as to how to successfully share my story. The fact that we have places where we can reach thousands of people every day blows me away! I just love connecting my followers to our life on the farm! And I am thankful for these two platforms that allow my voice to reach so many. I know some big challenges and changes are coming to the way that blogs get to reach their target audiences in 2018. I will continue to use both Facebook and Instagram. And hope that there is a way for those of us without a budget to put into it, can continue to share our story. Which social media platform in your favorite to use?
Last year saw some huge opportunists for me off of the farm. This year with our transition limited any travel, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t continue to agvocate offline as well. Build it and they will come, could be our theme for 2017, as we moved into our new barn. Robotics are a big attraction for those seasoned in the dairy industry and visiting a farm for the first time. There were times I think we had groups stopping by every week! I am glad we took the time to consider tours into our new barn design and lay out and have really enjoyed sharing it with all our visitors.
The first big group to join us came just 3 weeks after we started up. The Oregon Women for Agriculture annual convention was hosted by our county and provided the perfect opportunity. They just were an all around great group to be the first to bring through our barn in early February. I also joined the OWA convention as an attendee and had the opportunity to speak on a panel with fellow Oregon blogger Nutty Grass. We talked about our blogs and journeys with social media. February also saw me attending the Oregon Dairy Farmer’s Annual Convention again. But just as an attendee this year. I did enjoy getting to meet in person one of my fellow west coast social media dairy farmer’s, the Foggy Bottoms Boys. I also enjoyed engaging with our legislators again during Dairy Day at the Capital in March. Then again I came back to the capital in June to testify for the first time. In front of the Natural Resources Committee on technology in the dairy industry. That was an opportunity I soon won’t forget and one I had never considered for myself before. So I lied, I did manage one, quick 48 hour trip, to Chicago to catch a social media training with Dairy Management Inc as they launched their new campaign, Undeniably Dairy.
The rest of whole year we continued to host countless dairyman, even some international, school groups and industry members through our new facility. One of my favorite tours of the year was with a group of Dietician students from Oregon Health and Science University. None of them had been on a dairy farm before and there was some amazing questions and conversations that took place that day. Tours can be a lot of work, but nothing beats getting people first hand experience on a farm! I look forward to possibilities we can continue to explore with tours into the coming year.
2017 I hope was an equally rewarding year for all of my readers! I know there are many of us who faced great challenges in 2017 and I am personally ready to see the year roll over. But looking back at 2017 Year End Review: Agvocacy I am so thankful for the many opportunities I continued to have to share my story. Both online and offline I appreciate every moment that connects me to those I aim to reach.
Cheers to 2017! I hope if you also take the time to look back that you appreciate the opportunities that came your way as well! Blessings to you all into 2018. I am looking forward to sharing more of story in the new year!