THE viral videos I see on Facebook usually feature cats, dodgy parking or terrible dancing, but this week, it was a heartfelt live video filmed by third-generation Fleurieu Peninsula dairyfarmer and former Stock Journal journalist Casey Treloar that kept reappearing on my feed.
In her video, Ms Treloar reveals that her family – along with the Dohnt family – has made the difficult decision to sell their dairy herd, as the price they were being paid for their milk – about 41 cents a litre – was well below the 50c/L cost of production.
It’s a scenario playing out in many areas, and unless milk prices lift we’re likely to be hearing many more similar stories.
While Ms Treloar has pursued a career in journalism, it is clear to see the dairy industry is her true passion. Finding someone with more love for their animals would be a hard task.
That’s why her video has connected with so many people in and outside of the dairy industry. It was a genuine, raw moment – a stark contrast to the carefully scripted and staged content we see so often on social media these days.
In the days since, Ms Treloar and her father Stephen have spoken to a wide range of media outlets, choosing to detail their experiences and draw attention to the battle faced by their peers across the country. As difficult as it would be to go through the reasons behind their decision time and time again, they are helping put agricultural issues on the mainstream agenda.
This week has shown us how social media – a force so often used to spread anti-farming sentiments – can be a powerful tool in raising awareness of the challenges facing our farmers. It proves that when individuals share their stories in an open, engaging manner, the public listens.
The impact of Ms Treloar’s video has spread to Canberra, where she will meet next week with key politicians to discuss the plight of the broader dairy industry. While it would be easier for her to focus on sharing her own story, Ms Treloar’s determination to present a united message representing all dairyfarmers is a credit to her character.
Let’s hope one, seven-minute video filmed among her beloved herd of cows will lead to tangible, positive change.
If one voice can be heard so far and wide, imagine what can be achieved when we use our individual voices to speak together to promote and defend our industry.