Show Some #dairylove sticks to a positive message
COHUNA FARMER Di Bowles has received a highly commended award from the Legendairy Capital Program for her online site, Show Some #dairylove, which has 13 700 members on Facebook. The online community was born from the dairy price downturn in 2016 but has a mandate to highlight the positive aspects of the dairy industry and provide support to those who need it. Di, a former accounts manager for an insurance company in Melbourne who married Cohuna dairy farmer Gary, quickly converted to the lifestyle, and started the Facebook group after seeing the online response to the price drop. “I could see people being negative but also a large group of people asking what they could do to help,” she said. “Some people were asking why are you dairy farming when you’re not getting paid properly? I’d been using the hashtag ‘#lovewhereIlive’ and thought I really love being a dairy farmer and I should start a Facebook group.” The initial push was to promote purchasing branded over plain labelled dairy products, but there were no rules beyond being positive. “We’ve stayed very true to the message that it’s only positive stuff,” Di said. “We don’t talk about milk price, we don’t have negative photos and we don’t have disagreements. “It’s a safe place to be. We now have a community — and it is a community — of more than 13 000 people. “I’m still amazed that daily around 20–30 people join and we receive around 50 posts.” Di was initially joined by South Purrumbete farmer Cath Jenkins as an administrator of the page, but with numbers growing and the workload increasing, Jessa Fleming and Paul Kent also came on board. The page also provides mental health support for farmers. “There are a couple on it who openly say if it wasn’t for the page they might not be around,” Di said. “People can say they’re not coping and they get real-time interaction and peers checking on them. For me that’s the best thing out of the whole group.” Membership consists of about 40 per cent farmers and 60 per cent consumers or non-dairy people. About 60 per cent are Australian, 10 per
“We’re trying to get people to think in a positive mind-set and supporting each other.”
cent from New Zealand and the rest from overseas. “I’m so pleased we were recognised for being a Legendairy community — not a town but a community. It really challenges the idea of community — in my definition it’s a group of people who work together. “We’re trying to get people to think in a positive mind-set and supporting each other. Back in the old days farmers helped each other all the time. Because we’ve gotten bigger we’ve become more isolated and don’t have as many opportunities to help people. It costs you nothing to give people a kind word, a smile or a like on a photo.”
One of Di Bowles’s cows photobombed this selfie.