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Names in the News: December 11, 2013 issue

PD Staff Published on 10 December 2013

Names in the News

The Scott Brothers Dairy Farm in Moreno, California, hosted the reality television show “Undercover Boss.”

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The CEO of the frozen yogurt chain Menchies spent a day with a herdsman learning some of what it takes to get the milk to make the signature yogurt.

Brad Scott discussed this unique opportunity to represent the industry.

How did your filming with ‘Undercover Boss’ come about?
We have our own milk processing plant. At this plant, we make the frozen yogurt mix for the Menchies chain. They wanted to include in the “Undercover Boss” program where milk comes from for their product. This gave their CEO a hands-on experience of a day on the dairy farm.

Why did you consent to do the filming?
My goal was that this would be a great opportunity to show the public how we care for our animals and what takes place on dairy farms daily to provide milk for dairy products. This gave consumers a chance to see what truly takes place on a dairy farm and not some negative assumption by an anti-dairy activist.

Were you nervous before it? What did you do to prepare?
Absolutely. When you agree to open up your dairy farm to a reality show, you ask yourself, “What did I just agree to?” No one on the dairy knew what was really taking place. I was the only one who knew the real reason. My brother, father and even my wife had no idea that this was for “Undercover Boss.”

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We did the same thing we do every day and when we have tours. My employees know that regardless of what day it is or who is on the dairy, we always make sure the cows are taken care of and the facility is neat and clean.

I also tried to explain to the filming crew what was taking place around the farm. It is just like giving a tour to a school group. You need to explain everything to them because they never have been exposed to a dairy before.

Have you interacted with media in the past? If so, please explain.
I have done many interviews for newspapers, trade magazines, radio and television news before. Doing a reality show was truly a new experience.

I was not the one talking to the camera. This time an employee, our herdsman, who did not know that he was going to be on a reality show, was doing the talking. Normally, I can have some control over the interview. This time I had to wait and see how it came out on national TV.

I think this is a great example why employees on the dairy farm should also have some understanding of talking to the public about what they do. They are also great ambassadors for the dairy industry.

What was the most difficult aspect of filming? Why?
When you have four different camera crews around, you never knew what they were filming. With the animal activists out there, you are concerned that something filmed may come across negatively to the audience.

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I was open with all of the crews the entire time about what they were seeing and how the management practices on the farm were truly in the best interest of the cows.

Were you satisfied with the piece that they produced? If not, why – and what could you have done to influence it?
For not having any dairy background, I think the crew did a good job. There are always little things I would like to change. I think it turned out well for it being a reality show.

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Have you made any new connections or had any interesting experiences as a result of the story airing?
Yes, there have been several comments from the public who sent comments to our website complimenting our herdsman, Francisco, about the kind of caring and passionate individuals we have working with the cows.

People around the country, dairy people and just friends we know have been sending great reviews to us about what a positive story this was.

What advice would you have for other dairy producers who may be contacted by the media?
Do not be afraid of talking to the media. If you are approached and you do not have experience talking to the media, check with your state and regional dairy checkoffs. They have the tools to help you with any media or interview situation.

There is no better person to talk about dairies and what we do on them than dairy farmers themselves. I have personally been doing media interviews for more than 15 years now. It gets easier the more you do it, and you meet a lot of consumers that way who just want to hear what you do on your dairy farm. PD

PHOTO
Dairy owner Brad Scott's herdsman, Francisco, explains how he tends to herd health each day to “Undercover Boss” reality show participant and CEO of Menchies frozen yogurt Amit Kleinberger.

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