New Mexico Dairy Farmer Engages with Consumers through Farm Tours
“If we don’t tell our story, someone else will.”
It’s something Tim Amezcua has heard time and time again — and has taken to heart. That’s why he opens his dairy farm up regularly to groups varying from preschoolers to adults. He loves answering all of the questions — and admits some are a little funny, too.
“I always ask them what products do we make with milk and you’ll get some little kid saying, ‘Well, how do you make almond milk?’ I'm like, ‘Um, that's not me. That's not milk, kid,’” Amezcua says with a laugh.
“Of course, you don't want to go on the offensive,” he says. “Because it's not their fault.”
Living in oil country, most of the kids and adults he talks to are generations-removed from agriculture. That’s why it’s even more important to teach them the facts — and do so in a friendly manner. Amezcua strongly encourages his fellow dairymen and women to host farm tours and says it doesn’t have to be a scary scenario.
“Our facilities are older and some don’t look as nice as other peoples’ do,” he says. “But the thing is, they don't know any better, anyway. I know what an older dairy or a newer dairy looks like, but for somebody who's never been there, it doesn't really matter. As long as you have things cleaned up and looking the best you can, they won’t know or care if yours isn’t the nicest out there.”
He says the main thing is to get over the fear of uncertainty and just do it.
“If we're not going to tell them what we're doing, they're going to make up their own minds or read what's all over the internet and believe that,” Amezcua says. “But if you're willing to bring them on your place or take the time to talk to them, they respect that.”