This past February, I took steps to secure another chapter of my dairy narrative. I enrolled in the Holstein Foundation’s Young Dairy Leaders Institute. Over the course of this year, we have specific assignments from encouraging others to consume more dairy or learn more about our community to contacting legislators and creating an advocacy project.
Arthur Carmazzi stated, “Every action we take impacts the lives of others around us. The question is: Are you aware of your impact?”
Through my dairy narrative, I noticed one thing – the positive and powerful impact the dairy industry has had on me. I can’t wait to share my dairy narrative with others. We should be the ones to tell our narrative – not the vegans of the world, and certainly not the animal activists or the nondairy advocates.
My dairy narrative started with helping my grandparents on their dairy farm as a young girl; this was only the beginning of my dairy involvement. Continuing my commitment, I was involved in my local 4-H and FFA, the Junior Holstein Association, and the Berks County and Pennsylvania Dairy Princess Program. Following my dairy narrative, I relocated to Brattleboro, Vermont, as Holstein Association USA’s communication coordinator. Today, I continue to own black and white and red and white beauties, housed on my extended family’s farm.
As dairy producers, we must be conscientious about the appearances of our dairy farms. We get one chance to make a strong first impression. We must place value on the appearances of our dairy farms. Consumers want to know their milk is coming from a good place. We must take steps to ensure consumers know we provide that good place.
Those who know me know I love my fair share of dairy products, especially my favorite – ice cream. Enjoy dairy products in public every chance you get. If consumers see us enjoying a tall glass of milk or a cup of yogurt, they are reassured about the quality of dairy products available to them. This tells consumers, “We believe in our product – it’s good enough for us too!”
I have been blessed in many ways and am extremely thankful to be a part of this industry. The dairy industry has impacted me; my thirst continues to make this industry the best it can be.
As Zig Ziglar stated, “You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can impact a life forever.” Dare to be devoted to not only daily on-farm activities, but step outside your comfort zone, and promote the dairy industry to others. Dairy farmers, I challenge you to continue to impact the dairy industry in a positive way and for you too, to share your dairy narrative.
Ashley Mohn is a participant in Class 11 of the Holstein Foundation’s Young Dairy Leaders Institute.
PHOTO: Ashley poses with her herd's newest edition, Snickerdoodle. Photo provided by Karen Mohn.