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Taking customer appreciation to a new level

Cabot dairy farmers descend on NYC for 'gratitude tour'

Tina Douglas operates Douglas Farm with her husband Jack near Ilion, New York. She is the mother of past dairy princesses, and last month, she was one of about 75 Cabot Creamery Cooperative dairy farmers to descend on The Big Apple as part of Cabot’s first-ever “Gratitude Tour.” Dressed in the iconic red and black plaid shirts, they booked interviews with media, and mingled with consumers at over 60 participating locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn to show their appreciation of New York City customers who love their Cabot Cheese. Photo ‘tweeted’ to the Cabot Twitter feed during the event

By SHERRY BUNTING
Special for Farmshine

NEW YORK CITY -- Dressed in Cabot’s iconic farmer-style red-and-black plaid -- making them highly visible at their destinations -- 75 dairy farmers from New York State and New England were transported in red-and-black coach buses to 60 participating store locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn last month as part o Cabot Creamery Cooperative’s first-ever “Dairy Farmer Gratitude Tour.”

The purpose of their visit to The Big Apple was to personally thank New Yorkers for their loyalty and support of Cabot brand cheese and to drum up inner city support for farmers and farm life upstate.

The day included prizes, cheese tastings, and what the Cabot folks called an “a-moo-sing” and “udderly fun” Instagram contest where New Yorkers could post their “Cabot farmer sightings” to win prizes. In addition, many of the Cabot dairy farmers also tweeted their experiences on Twitter and posted on Facebook throughout the day -- effectively adding to the social media fuel that drew an even larger and broader audience beyond NYC.

While it is difficult for farmers to take time away from the farm, the daylong event was a “feel-good” moment for those who attended. They were treated like “rock stars” by consumers who snapped photos with their cell phones and tweeted their love of all things cheesey!

The event required much upfront planning. News releases were sent to NYC media to “book interviews” and store locations were signed up in advance for the opportunity to host cheese tastings or to “cook with a dairy farmer” on-site.

Cabot Creamery Cooperative is made up of 1200 dairy farm families in upstate New York and New England.