Monday, August 18, 2014

Capturing our Family in Photos

We just finished another amazing shoot tonight with the talented Heidi Helser Photograghy. I am so happy and excited to have found her and to have her capturing our family. When our first little farmer was born we captured pictures of him every 3 months. I loved having those pictures and seeing the changes as the first year goes by SO quickly. So I was determined to make that happen for our second little farmer. So after maternity, newborn, 3 months and now 6 months, I am so thrilled to continue to work with Heidi. If your in the Northwest and looking for a good photographer, I can' recommend her enough!!

I really love spending time with a photographer and the images they can capture. Those moments, those smiles are so precious! Usually being behind the lens, it's nice to enjoy someone with a professional eye. I encourage you all to find someone to work with. I promise you won't regret capturing your family in photos! Now to get some of these printed and on our walls! So sharing our pictures from this Spring with you all in anticipation of the shots we got tonight!

 This was such a special shoot full of so much celebration. Mason turning 3, Nolan 3 months, Ben and I being together for 10 years as well as our birthdays. April is just a big celebration and I am loving looking back at this special session tonight! Thanks again Heidi!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Northwest Farmer's Fighting Hunger Results

The beginning of June Dairy Month I brought to your attention the Northwest's Farmer's Fighting Hunger campaign. Well the results are back and I am so happy to have been involved in such a successful year:
So THANK YOU to everyone who participated and helped #fightsummerhunger!

Very proud that Oregon won this little Challenge, of course everyone was a winner in this situation. Hey The Farmer's Wifee, better have Washington step up their game next year! ;-) Extra thanks to her for helping spread the word! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

#WhattheMuck: A Lesson in Social Media Importance

Glad the boots on the hard working feet of our family have always been Lacrosse or Bogs. I don't have to feel remorse for supporting a company that in turn supports organizations that are trying to end our lifestyle.
New Bogs- Sept 2012, still going strong today!
That might sound a little rash, and potentially this entire situation has been blown out if proportion, that's my guess at least, but I can guarantee that The Original Muck Boots company is reevaluating the importance of their social media posts. 

In two posts they managed to create a total uproar and turn away hundreds of customers by "accidentally fundraising" for the HSUS. 
Despite your views of the HSUS, (if you do support them and fall victim to their sad puppy and kitten commercials you should probably read up on their recent status and donor advisory from Charity Navigator. In fact Humane Society shelters see virtually none of that money that is raised. Want to help your local shelters, donate directly to them!) this is a total reminder to all companies to be aware of who is behind your social media and have an action plan in place to quickly resolve issues should they arise. 
The first posts (which have since been removed, another no no in the virtual world) were posted on Friday. The company did not make a response to the negative posts flowing in until Tuesday. 4 days is an eternity in virtual time. You have to be ready to respond in an instant or things can get out of hand. 
People were honestly burning their boots in response!

And they certainly did. The response has been huge from their main community of supporters: farmers, hunters, outdoorsmen and agriculturists. Hundreds of posts across all social media sites, even to the extreme of burning their boots. Finally an official response was made Tuesday afternoon 8/5/2014:
Screen shot from The Original Much Boot Company Facebook Page 8/6/2014
Now we all hate auto correct, and tagging can sometimes jump, but for it to be guilty if changing The Humane Association of Northwestern Rhode Island  to HSUS and tagging it is unlikely. To further complicate the situation, RI stated on it's Facebook page that is has no knowledge of the donation. If this is true, Muck has just completely committed company suicide, you certainly can't lie about an already bad situation!! 

Horrible situation for a tiny donation that was meant to memorialize a coworker. Muck will be regretting these two tiny posts for years. 

So to ALL the companies out there; if your going to utilize social media: 
*Be aware of who is posting and decide what is appropriate. 
*Always be on top of any situation. Time is important in the virtual world. 
*Using social media is an awesome way to reach customers, one of best of our time. Be aware that ONE post can make or break you!! 

I have a feeling every company in the country is currently double checking their social media procedures!! 

Happy posting!

Update: 8/6/2014 Just a few minutes before I was ready to post the above (cranky baby did not want to nap today!) my friend The Farmer's Wifee received this on her story asking for the truth from Muck:

"Krista. I read your post and I wanted to respond to you directly hoping to clear up a lot of confusion. To be clear: The Original Muck Boot Company did not make a corporate donation to HSUS. Yesterday was not a good day for our brand, and especially not for our social media team who made an honest mistake by ‘tagging’ the wrong organization in a few posts last week. We are very sorry that a this mistake has caused some of our loyal customers to be so upset.

Corporate statements aside, here’s what happened…we suffered the loss of a colleague from cancer a few months ago. As you can surely understand, that’s never easy. In lieu of flowers, his family requested donations be made to a local animal shelter in his honor. Our colleague loved cats, so we know that’s what he would have wanted. The local shelter that was identified, the Humane Association of Northwestern Rhode Island is close to the Muck Boot offices whose primary mission is to help stray cats. To make the confusion even greater, when our Facebook statement was issued yesterday, the employee contributions were still being collected internally and not yet distributed to HANRI, the local shelter. We have since been in contact with HANRI and cleared up the confusion. They are thrilled to be receiving over $2100 this week in contributions collected by and donated by the employees – not from The Original Muck Boot Company.

We’re sickened by the fact that our customers feel as is we’ve let them down. It was never our intention.
— Sean O’Brien, Director of Footwear, Muck Boots."

I have not seen an official confirmation of the personal donation from the Rhode Island shelter yet, but their post saying they had not received a donation has been removed. 

Take note companies: social media matters! 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Dairy Farmer Roadtrip "Vacation"

Dairy Farmers are a wonderful breed of people. Each caring for and producing the best quality product they possibly can. I am reminded of this time and time again as I forge more friendships throughout the dairy world.

This latest expansion of my "dairy family" took me to eastern Washington state near the town of Spokane. We sold one of our Ladies, to Spokane Family Farm. They run a herd of Holsteins and Jerseys and process their own milk. We were interested in seeing their processing facility, so made the drive up to deliver them their "prize" Guernsey.

The Hutchins are a great dairy family. That is clearly reflected in their pride and care for their herd and their products. I am so excited and inspired by their success in the short amount of time they have been running Spokane Family Farm. I can't wait to see where their venture takes them. Obviously great places with some Guernsey milk in the tank now! ;-)

Since we were "in the neighborhood", we drove a little further north to visit with the Stauffer's. I had "met" Krista online as she started her agvocacy with her blog The Farmer's Wifee. If you aren't following her there, you should check out her facebook page as well. Being a fellow Darigold producer and Northwesterner we had followed each other for a while. We got to meet up at the Agchat Conference in January and it was great to meet her in person.

Even better to get to visit her at her farm. They run a mixed herd of Jerseys, Holsteins and crosses. Beautiful farm, nestled in the foothills with obviously happy and well cared for cows. It was great to get an inside look at their operation and catch up with each other.

I have to laugh, because it seems to be true for every dairy farmer, if you are going on "vacation" or a trip somewhere, you always look for farms you can stop at along the way. Dairy farmers are always learning and looking for ways to improve our own operations. Seeing other farms and talking with other farmers is a amazing way to not only build friendships, but share and grow knowledge.

Time and time again as I walk away from new farms I am always impressed with the common cause of healthy and happy animals. Dairy farmers truly do love their cows and this lifestyle. Your milk production is in good hand folks!

So who will we visit next!


Saturday, August 2, 2014

My Ultimate FarmHer Dilemma

Oh hello August! Yet again my posts are missing here! I had big plans and quite a few posts brewing for July, but slow internet has completely SLOWWwwwwed me down!

I love sharing my story and pictures with you all, but when it takes 10 minutes just to upload one picture, I simply run out if time! 

So as I bang my head against the keyboard in frustration, my ultimate blogger FarmHer Dilemma: is rural internet  availability!! 

How anyone got anything done in the "Stone Age" of dial up is beyond me! And I am hoping that something a little more high speed comes to our area soon!! Wishful thinking!  So bear with me, as I continue to try to bring you my story!!