This guide was designed to help you with three aspects of getting to know and talking to people in the dairy industry. The resources provided here can help you find 1) people you can talk to, 2) things going on in the industry to talk about, and 3) resources to help you talk to people you don't know. Although this guide is not comprehensive (there are many sources available), it is here to give you some guidance and help you accomplish these three tasks.
Think about what it is you want to know. Is it about dairy farm management, best forage crops to feed cattle, animal identification systems, milking systems, etc? Answering these types of questions will help you locate the best places to find people who can best answer your questions.
Resources to use to find people to talk to in the dairy industry:
Many organizations will provide names of board members, who can also be helpful in answering your questions. Note, direct contact information to the board members may not be provided. Use the “contact us” (when available) or search for the person using a search engine (e.g. Google)
When at a site, you might need to look at more than one location to find contact information. For example, the Midwest Dairy Association site (primarily for Nebraska dairy farmers) includes names of people under the following sections:
“meet dairy farmers” and “helpful links” under Dairy Farming
“ask the expert” links under Nutrition & Health and Tools for Schools
“registered dietitians” under Media Center
The groups listed above represent a small sector of associations, it is by no means comprehensive. To find other organizations/associations, try using the terms “association” or “council” or "cooperative" with your other keywords..
These resources are just a few places to look to find information about what is going on and factors that affect the dairy industry. By preparing for an interview or discussion, not only will you have an array of material to talk about, but you can also develop in-depth questions that will take conversations into greater detail and provide you with new insights or perspectives about the topic at hand.
There are a number of resources available to help you develop your communication style and interviewing techniques. These are just a few to help get you started.
Web resources you can use to develop or improve your interviewing techniques:
There are also several items on the web and in the library that deal with "the art of conversation" such as http://www.abac.edu/lfelton/2292_conversation.pdf. You can also use the CommLab (located on the 1st floor of the library) where you can further develop your conversation and listening skills.