Our Story

At Midwest Dairy, we are proud to represent approximately 7,000 dairy farm families to 79 million consumers across our region. We work on their behalf to build dairy demand by inspiring consumer confidence in our products and production practices.

Our Focus

We focus our efforts on sharing insights and developing programs and resources for our retail, health and wellness, school food service and industry partners. Our goal is to maximize our impact by working with and through our partners to share information and real-time experiences that showcase how dairy products resonate with today’s consumer: responsibly produced, nutrient-rich, locally driven and offers real enjoyment.

Bringing Dairy to Life!

We are committed to our vision of Bringing Dairy to Life and our mission of Giving Consumers an Excellent Dairy Experience and are funded by farmers across a 10-state region, including Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. As part of the national dairy checkoff, we focus on dairy promotion, nutrition education and research and are committed to child health and wellness through our collaborative program, Fuel Up to Play 60.

 

Our History

Midwest Dairy weaves through 100 years of dairy history. Farmers in Iowa, Missouri and eastern Kansas formed Midland Dairy Association in 1971. Their counterparts in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota combined their state promotional organizations in 1993, forming the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council of the Upper Midwest. These two larger organizations joined forces in 2000, forming the Midwest Dairy Association and adding dairy farmers and territory in Arkansas, western Kansas and eastern Oklahoma. The American Dairy Association of Illinois joined Midwest Dairy a year later. The American Dairy Association/Dairy Council of Nebraska became part of Midwest Dairy Association in 2011.

Our Governance

Dairy farmers in the Midwest invest 15 cents for every 100 pounds of milk they sell. Midwest Dairy receives 10 cents of this mandatory funding for regional programs. The remaining five cents goes to the National Dairy Board (NDB) to fund national promotional, research and export programs carried out by Dairy Management Inc. Our farmer-funded programs do not represent specific brands or dairy cooperatives, and we do not participate in regulatory activities or influence government policy.

Many states enacted checkoff laws in the 1960s, setting a mandatory contribution for all dairy farmers. These laws increased funding for promotional programs and equalized contributions based on production levels. A national dairy promotion organization (called checkoff) took effect in 1984 and remains in place today. The national checkoff also provides funds to explore new markets for surplus dairy products from the United States.

The board of directors, consisting of dairy farmers from throughout the region, governs the activities of Midwest Dairy. Board members are selected to division boards first, and then may be elected to the Corporate Board. Some of these representatives also serve on the board of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI). This allows local input on the development of national promotion programs. All board members represent their fellow producers in directing how funds are allocated.

Press Room

For ag and industry trade or consumer media inquiries, and to get the latest news on dairy checkoff in the Midwest, the Press Room is the place to check out. Find contact information for press to direct questions and interview requests. Scroll through press releases to read the latest updates on efforts to build demand for and increase trust in dairy.

Get the Scoop

Board Leadership

Meet the farmer leaders who are representing Midwest dairy farmers as we work to build trust and demand in dairy.

Executive Corner

As CEO of Midwest Dairy, Lucas Lentsch proudly represents the more than 7,000 dairy farmers throughout our region, providing strategic leadership over the organization’s efforts to build dairy demand and consumer confidence in the delicious, nutritious products dairy products you produce.

Meet Our Teams

Midwest Dairy has a staff of more than 65 employees who are proud to be working for dairy farmers founded in science and research to build trust and demand for delicious, nutritious dairy products throughout the region.

Join Our Team! 

Do you love milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream?  Are you interested in working with dairy farmers who are committed to producing delicious milk in ways that are good for their animals and for the environment? If so, join us as we work to fulfill our vision: To bring dairy to life, and our mission: To give consumers an excellent dairy experience.

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