TVO faces social media backlash over Dairy Farmers partnership

A first-of-its-kind partnership between Ontario’s TVO and the Dairy Farmers of Ontario has not received the warmest welcome by some of its viewers and readers.

TVO is a publicly-funded educational television network and media organization operated by the Ontario Educational Communications Authority, a Crown corporation owned by the Government of Ontario.

Dairy Farmers of Ontario recently secured the one-year partnership with TVO to use its dairy education resources (currently available through edu.milk.org), announcing the deal on October 14, 2020.

“Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s dairy education program has become a point of organizational and producer pride over its 25-year history,” says Cheryl Smith, CEO. “However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our educators were no longer permitted in the classroom and as a result we had to move quickly to develop and implement dairy education on a digital platform. We looked to drive awareness of this fundamental change through respectable and credible partners where we could reach students, teachers and parents. We found one such partner in TVO. This partnership will help DFO share our resources with as many Ontarians as possible.”

The programming is featured on the TVO education platform online, aimed at teachers and parents, and will also air on TVOkids, according to a press release.

TVO announced the partnership, the first external partnership of its kind, via social media earlier this week  — but ended up taking the post down after comments crossed into “cruelty, hatred, libel, and harassment” territory. The comments to the announcement outlined what many took issue with, ranging from not being supportive of dairy and the dairy industry, to those who considered the programming marketing to children, not education.

TVO’s Facebook page/2020

TVO was asked for additional comments on whether or not they are reconsidering the partnership. The public broadcaster had no further comments beyond the post above, also posted to its Facebook page.

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