But, as in any social situation, there are right ways and wrongs ways to go about it, says Jolene Griffin, director of industry communications for Dairy Management Inc. (DMI).
She works on producer communication and helps lead the team that created, implemented and maintains DMI's myDairy social media program for dairy advocates.
The wrong way is to immediately confront any anti-dairy message you see on the social media sites.
The right way involves prolonged engagement on these sites, letting others get to know you so that they trust and respect you as someone who is knowledgeable in your field.
"You have to engage on a regular basis, not just about the dairy industry," Griffin
While that might seem like a huge time drain, checking your social media accounts once a day or several times a week can be sufficient, she
In your response, there are some definite best practices to keep in mind, Griffin
If you really get stuck, email Griffin
In some cases, anti-animal advocates will try to start an on-line argument, accusing farmers of certain practices only because they're profitable.
Separating calves at birth and de-horning are often targeted as issues.
These are more difficult engagements, says Griffin
Using the above techniques might not win the argument with advocates (probably nothing will), but it will show others reading the posts who has the most credibility.
That's especially true if you have been a long-time, trusted member of the group.
Ultimately, you may have to agree to disagree, says Griffin