Since starting the Bullvine over a year ago, I have learned to accept that we have become a polarizing entity. While most tell us how much they love what we are doing, there are also those who have put a bounty on our heads. This means there are moments when I have wondered if I have been wasting my time. Living life as a marked man is definitely not boring. When you’re blazing new ground, there is always the chance that you could be shot down in a blaze of glory.
Sometimes I get some sleep. Other times it seems like you are sleeping on a bed of nails not knowing what is going to happen next. Now some might say that I am being dramatic and I accept that. However, I am not sure that they understand the pressure that has come with running The Bullvine. In starting the Bullvine I have had to open up my soul to the world. With that comes a completely different experience than most would ever expect.
First comes a rush that many never experience. We have had days where we have literally reached hundreds of thousands of people around the world and you feel like Superman. Yet there are other days when you wonder if it was all worth it. Is it worth people slandering your name? Questioning your ethics? Is it worth losing relationships that have meant the most to you?
You see, the Bullvine isn’t your typical dairy magazine where we publish a few nice articles about fluff. Sure Karen (a.k.a Mom) has done an amazing job profiling some extremely interesting people. (Read more: Don Schwartz: “Love what you do and do the best you can!” and Christy Nurse: From Show Ring Beauty to World Class Rower) But if that was all the Bullvine was then we would be like every other publication out there. Instead we wanted to build a community around the key issues that are facing breeders on a daily basis. (Read more: Milk Marketing: How “Got Milk Became “Got Lost” and No Cow Is Perfect – Not Even in Pictures)
We wanted to bring about change, and that meant talking about, saying and doing things others wouldn’t. Have I said or done things that I regret? ….Sure who hasn’t? I don’t apologize because not even for one moment have I regretted our bigger purpose. (Read more: I’m Sorry, But I’ve Had Just About Enough of…) When pouring your heart and soul into something, you are going to react as much out of emotion as out of logic. There have been times where many thought that we were going down for the count. However, what they didn’t realize is we are fighters. If you don’t knock us out, watch out because we are coming back twice as strong and twice as hard.
Then there are the weeks where everything just seems to come together and you know what you’re doing is exactly what is needed and well worth it.
Take this past week for example. On Monday we profiled an amazing dairy farm mom, Mary Lou King. Mary Lou is like most farm wives, her day starts before the sun rises and doesn’t end still after the sun sets and she does it all while raising her children. (Read more: Dairy Farm Moms are Unstoppable) This story reached over 20,000 people.
We then had the opportunity to profile Carrie Mess and her remarkable blog, about a city girl who has become one of the biggest advocates for the dairy industry. (Read more: Dairy Carrie- Diary of a City Kid Gone Country) Very fitting for National Ag Day, where the Bullvine set a new Facebook dairy record reaching over 200,000 people in a single day.
Then in true Bullvine style, we profiled many of the upcoming sales. However, unlike the others, instead of promoting who paid us the most money, we did our own detailed homework on all the sales and gave our true opinion. We did this, because like everyone else, we are also breeders and wanted to make sure we were not missing any great investment opportunities. (Read more: The Dairy Investors Guide to Spring Sale Madness). I guess people like what we are saying because we had feedback from sales managers about how much it helped and how they have sold animals because of it.
Following that was the opportunity to profile Dusty Schirm. A young man, who much like myself, has faced criticism. But with the help of a great woman, has really become an outstanding member of the dairy industry. (Read more: Dusty Schirm- From Show Ring to Sales Ring Building a Franchise). For me personally this meant a lot. You see when others were running for the hills when we first started the Bullvine, Dusty has been a supporter since day one. For that the chance to share Dusty’s story was the least we could do. So yes we have been sharing lots about Dusty’s upcoming Sale on Monday (Read more: The Franchise Kind II), but if we cannot help those who have supported us, then why are we doing this?
The topper to the week was when Jerry Jorgensen of Ri-Val-Re Holsteins came to me wanting to try something outside of the box. You see we have had the opportunity to get to know Jerry pretty well since starting the Bullvine. He first hit our radar when he offered to purchase Golden-PP semen for $10,000 a dose (Read more: $10,000 a Dose Polled Semen) and ever since we have been a huge fan of Jerry’s. Being able to tell his story has been great (Read more: Breeding Ri-Val-Re: Where Looking Good in the stall is Just as Important as looking good on paper). So when he wanted to try something different we jumped on the opportunity. We assisted Jerry in promoting his upcoming sale by doing an innovative promotion on Facebook. The Result – In less than 12 hours it was seen by over 50,000 people on the Bullvine’s Facebook page alone. All at a fraction of the cost of a single ad in any major dairy publication. Goes to show that the power of Facebook is something that every breeder should look into (Read more: 7 Reasons Why Your Dairy Farm Needs to Be On Facebook)
The Bullvine Bottom Line
Since starting the Bullvine we have had one hell of a ride. We have started a ripple that has grown into a tsunami. We have gone from a small upstart to the largest daily digital reach in the dairy industry. Larger than all our other competitors combined. There are so many amazing breeders who made it all worthwhile. To those few who still may have me in your sights, I say FIRE. But you had better kill me cause if you miss…..If you don’t finish the job……be ready for me to come back firing twice as hard….twice as fast…..and shooting to kill. At The Bullvine we are that passionate about what we are doing and love being the dairy industry`s “Most Wanted!”