Show Some #dairylove sticks to a pos­i­tive mes­sage

Dairy News Australia - - NEWS -

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.

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