We were so excited when Bonnie asked us to write a guest blog for her page and tell you all a little more about the Real Faces of Dairy celebration. The special painting that Bonnie is creating is just one piece of this year-long celebration of the dairy industry. All the pieces are coming together to help us tell your story - the story of what the dairy industry means to you - and give you more tools to share those messages with the consumer.
The first piece of the program is a 12-month article series in Dairy Herd Management magazine that highlights the past, present and future innovators that have shaped the dairy industry today and are helping us prepare for the future. So far, we have told the story of the important inventions that paved the way for efficient dairy production those that lived through the massive advancements to our industry through the 20th century. We have featured the advancements in genetics and industry sustainability that are happening today and those that are sharing the positive message with consumers every day. Watch Dairy Herd Management and www.realfacesofdairy.com for the next articles looking into the future; new products, new markets and the youth that are making an impact on where the industry is going.
The most visible piece of the celebration so far has been the #realfacesofdairy Facebook page. We currently have over 20,000 people that follow our page and are sharing their photos of what the dairy industry means to them. To date, we have gathered over 6000 photos. Though our weekly photo contest will end on July 1, we will continue to gather photos to use in our photo mosaic.
And that's where Bonnie's beautiful painting comes in. This painting of the Mother Cow and Calf will serve as the base art for a special print that will be unveiled at World Dairy Expo and auctioned off to benefit the agriculture organization of your choice - be sure to vote for the organization we should support at http://realfacesofdairy.com/your-art-the-mosaic/. We will create prints of the special art piece for you and use all the photos you've shared with us to create a mosaic of the image. More info HERE!
The pictures you've sent to us will also be used to create a 2017 Real Faces of Dairy calendar that will be available at World Dairy Expo. Be ready to vote for your top 12 photos, from all our weekly winners, throughout August.
We just completed the Real Faces of Dairy Essay contest. We received 65 entries, vying for $1600 in scholarships. In July, you will be able to read the top three essays in each age category and vote to tell us which should win the $250 top prize. Prizes are awarded to each of the top three in four age categories.
Finally, some of the messages from our essay contest and other stories we've received throughout the program will be used to create a consumer coloring book and a special video tribute to the entire dairy industry. We'll invite our essay contest winners to bring their stories to life, telling us why this industry is so important, in their own voice. The coloring book and video will be something you will want to share with consumers and help you tell the story of the many different aspects of our industry.
Thanks for reading! Check back next week for another guest blog.