‘Live from the barn,’ one Wayne County 4-H club using Web to spread the word

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Editor’s Note: See bottom for slide show.

WOOSTER, Ohio — This week and perhaps beyond, one Wayne County 4-H Club is using the social tools of the Internet to share its message.

Blue Ribbon Dairy — a club of about a dozen members who exhibit dairy projects, is using its own Internet blog to share with the public what dairy farming and dairy showing is all about.

Members of the club will post “live from the barn” entries — live from the county fair, which continues through Sept. 16.

Topics will include why exhibitors show their cattle, why they enjoy it, who their favorite cows are and what dairy farming means to them. Show results also will be posted.

Answering questions

Organizational adviser Kristin Taylor, said each year fair visitors ask the 4-H’ers all kinds of questions — sometimes more than can be answered in the barns. With the Web, they can reach these people and beyond.

“There are so many people out there who don’t understand what’s happening in agriculture and I hope that this doesn’t just reach out to the community, but that it also reaches people who live (elsewhere),” she said. “Our kids are smart and they have a lot of great information to share and I’m a pretty firm believer in that if you have something to share with someone, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be sharing it.”

Sharing the message has become a common theme among supporters of agriculture, especially with the advent of social media. This is believed to be one of the area’s first efforts to include youth.

Brennan Topp, 12, said he wants others to know practice pays off when it comes to getting ready for the show.

“If you work with them (cattle), you will get even better,” he said, noting he’s excited to start blogging.

Although many are very young, the members of the club said they look forward to writing on the blog, to help educate other exhibitors, and people who are unfamiliar with fairs.

Taylor said she’s unsure whether the blog will be updated year-round, but noted the possibility. Her main goal is to spread the word about the work exhibitors and dairy youth do, which always is a year-round task.

Win-win

And not only will the blog help educate the public, but it also prepares the exhibitors to become “agvocates” for their industry.

“There is no reason for me to believe that these kids are not going to be dairy farmers some day,” she said. “That’s why it’s important for us to kind of take control and tell our story to people.”

To view the blog, visit http://blueribbondairydiary.blogspot.com.

Check out some of the opening day fair activity:

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