Farming and filming don’t go together quite as well as say milk and cookies. But with a lot of hard work and a little luck, and the help of the team at Dairy Max, we were able to host Dr. Travis Stork from CBS’s The Doctors for a successful satellite media tour and Facebook live interview on our family dairy farm. Maybe you didn’t see my 50 Instagram and Facebook posts and aren’t sure what I am talking about? Well last week, Dr. Travis Stork and Dr. Lana Frantzen did over 30 interviews with TV and radio stations all across the country discussing healthy ways to add dairy to your diet all live from our family dairy. We ended the day with a Facebook live interview you can find here with Dr. Stork and me. Below is a little background on what all went in to making this event possible.
Dairy Farming and Filming
It has been more than six months since the Dairy Max team first approached me about this event. Initially, I was a little nervous about the whole thing especially the live Q&A with Dr. Stork and the Facebook audience. But after I sat down and discussed it with my husband and father-in-law, we decided to go for it! It was going to be such a great way to invite millions of people to a virtual tour of life on a dairy farm.
The next step was finding a location. Since we would be filming live, some of the requirements for the location included: quiet, limited activity, protection from the elements and, of course, cows. Sounds simple, right? Well no place on a dairy is quiet. Add in the fact that our dairy is next to an air force base AND a railroad track, and you have some pretty loud noises. With an open lot dairy, we had limited options for in door locations. And then the stars of the show, the cows, have their own schedules of milking, eating and getting their vet checks that we had to work around during filming. We looked at just about every spot on our dairy and every barn. After multiple site visits with the head cameraman, we chose a location in the hay alley of the maternity pens at my brother in laws’ dairy.
Wait 5 minutes and the weather will change
Finally, the biggest concern of all, the weather. If you have ever been in Eastern New Mexico in March than you know how unpredictable the weather can be. It can be 80 and sunny one day and snowing the next. And the wind is always blowing at a light 40 mph. We had an alternate in door location as a back up and waited all the way until the day before filming to make a final decision. But ultimately, the team, Daniel and I wanted to film outside with the cows to make it as authentic as possible.
Live in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
The day of filming had lots of excitement. We had a giant tent over the hay alley to keep all the equipment protected and hay bale walls as wind breaks. Thankfully the wind decided to go from 30 mph to about 10 mph right before we started filming. Dr. Stork’s plane was delayed, and his car service never showed up to pick him up from the hotel. But thanks to my mad driving skills he made it with a couple minutes to spare. Once we got rolling, it all seemed to flow so smoothly. The cows showed up for breakfast right on cue!
Now I am sure you want all the juicy details on Dr. Stork. Well sorry to disappoint, but he was a class act. His passion for dairy products really shined through during the 30+ TV and radio interviews. Some of my favorite things he said included: pizzas are a vegetable delivery service, cheese makes everything taste better even salads and by calling smoothies milkshakes your kids will be more likely to drink them. I think everyone on set wanted to go out and buy a vegetable pizza and drink a smoothie after listening to him and hopefully the 30 million viewers did too!
A Few Things I learned
I learned that a lot more thought goes into filming something than I originally thought. I now know what a food stylist is and that they make the food looked mouth watering. I realized once again that people don’t know any about dairy farming. And I had to explain why locations wouldn’t work or what to expect from the cows. But most importantly, I learned to never turn down an opportunity to share your dairy story. While this event was more work than I anticipated, the benefits for our dairy community were so much greater! We have been receiving tons of positive feedback online and had great engagement with so many viewers.
After countless phone calls, site visits, location changes and months of work, I am so undeniably dairy proud of what we accomplished! And don’t forget to check out the video here.
Have a dairy awesome day!
New Mexico Milkmaid