As part of Midwest Dairy’s strategic initiative to build trust in dairy, Midwest Dairy hosted several virtual “Cheese Chats” throughout the 10-state region, bringing together more than 130 nutrition, health and wellness, sustainability and community thought leaders to join in conversations about dairy’s role in sustainable nutrition. Influential leaders from organizations including state universities, nonprofits, chambers of commerce, tourism boards, public health organizations, extension groups, local businesses and more joined in engaging conversations with dairy farmers and processors who shared dairy’s farm-to-table story and showcased the ways in which dairy farmers throughout the region are already working to meet the industry’s 2050 sustainability goals.
All of this was accompanied by a cheese tasting experience to fully immerse participants in the conversation and celebrate the enjoyment of dairy. Each event featured a curated selection of cheeses from local farms and paired with craft beers or a cheeseboard. The moderator for each event was chosen based on the audience – several events were facilitated by a registered dietitian to focus on the nutrition of dairy, while others were moderated by a representative from Midwest Dairy or a dairy co-operative to give more background on the industry.
The influencer guests submitted overwhelmingly positive feedback in post-event survey. Many attendees expressed their gratitude for hearing directly from local farmers about their sustainability efforts on the farm, and said they would be continuing to support local family-owned dairy farms both in their personal lives and with their organizations, which could lead to new strategic partnerships for Midwest Dairy in the future.
View the dairy farm sustainability stories that were shared at the events here: