Want to hear a funny joke? Keeping up with the news.
In all seriousness, an overwhelming amount of information is available to the point where it can be hard to decide to start. We’re expected to keep up with a lot. Dairy industry news, general agriculture, local news, world news, latest tech news, pop culture news – OK, that last one is just me, but you get the idea. Within each category, there’s an equally overwhelming number of options for each.
It may sound like I have a negative outlook on this. However, I think we live in a time where we’re blessed with knowledge, especially as we advocate for dairy, agriculture and our businesses. We need to learn how to sift it all to choose what sources are best for us and what’s the best routine to consume the information regularly.
For this article, I focused on digital news options, and I reached out to Mary Knigge, vice president of government relations at Dairy Farmers of America. I’ve always admired her ability to jump into any conversation and contribute. And it’s no secret that keeping up with the latest news is critical to her job. “I have to know what’s happening in agriculture to communicate that to our farmer-owners who may not have time to stay up-to-date as I do. This also helps me anticipate what could be coming next that could impact dairy farmers and my job,” Knigge said.
She still understands the difficulty of keeping up, telling me: “I get a ton of emails, so I try out some publications for a couple of weeks and see what has relevant info to my farmers and my job. I also try to make sure I listen to what others think is useful; this is a pretty dynamic space, so I need to talk with others and see where they get their news.”
Knigge concluded with the advice: “Find out what works for you. For me, it’s my morning routine. For others, maybe it’s once a week when you set aside time to read the newsletters that speak to you and your day-to-day. I also think there should be more than one news source; everyone has biases that may feed into what you regularly consume.”
I loved this conversation with Mary. I tracked my habits for a week (I learned this from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear) and found that the best time for me to catch up was on the treadmill at the gym. It’s a great brain and body warm-up.
The next step is listing what digital news is available and deciding what’s most relevant to you. I reached out to the Dairy Girl Network Exchange community on Facebook. Here are a few of their most popular digital recommendations.
Dairy and agriculture
- Check with your favorite media publication for its offerings: For example, Progressive Dairy sends out a variety of dairy, ag and forage newsletters, which you can sign up for here.
- Contact your local checkoff representative and ask what’s available locally and nationally.
- Ask your milk cooperative what they have available.
- The Dairy Industry Today by the National Milk Producers Federation
- Food Fix: A former Politico employee who focuses on food news and policy
- The Washington Post: Requires a paid digital subscription
- Politico: A large variety of options related to politics and policy
- Morning Brew: Broad options and more niche offerings, like the latest tech and finance industry information, and accompanying podcasts
- The Skimm: Like Morning Brew, with a unique and cheeky writing style
Just for fun
- WeRateDogs: Trust me, sometimes you just need a trigger to smile!
This list is only scratching the surface, and I know there are great options I have missed. Do you have more recommendations or tips on keeping up? Share them with your family, friends and peers. They might have great information for you, too.