With the continuing onslaught of animal rights activists and questions from the general public about how we raise our animals, the Gold Standards become an invaluable tool. Not only do they outline the achievements that producers should strive for, but also for producers that meet the Gold Standards, they serve as verification that they are doing the best job in the industry.

Growers across the country are focusing on achieving these guidelines. While we all need more hours in the day, perhaps we should take time to tell our story, instead of having someone tell it for us. One way to be proactive and share your story is through YouTube. Here are a few key pointers on creating, uploading and marketing your videos to show the positive efforts you make to strengthen community relations, educate local leaders and display your Gold Standard achievements.

1. Have a plan in mind before you break out the camera. The better you plan what your video will look like, the less work you'll have to do when editing. That may mean writing out scripts and rehearsing before shooting - but you will save time in the long run.

2. You don't have to rely on video alone - still photography, text, audio and music can all help tell the story. In fact, many of the most powerful videos on YouTube are slideshows of images/photos set to music.

3. Add your YouTube channel URL to all your company marketing materials, including e-mail signature, website, social media, newsletter, brochures, etc.

4. Don't upload the video to YouTube until you're sure it's final. You can go back later and reload the video, but the URL will change and you will lose all your captured views. Also, make sure you've included your company contact information or website in your video.

5. You don't have to say it all in one video. Consider creating a series of shorter videos for your channel. For example, you might have separate videos on your support of local events, customer testimonials, highlights of your employees and how your operation supports the economy. Keep them short and sweet and provide information, not just advertising.

Other farmers and agricultural companies are getting the word out about the good things that America's farmers do to feed the world. Visit the America's Farmers channel for ideas to get you started on your own video.

Source: Dairy Calf & Heifer Association