DEAL Class 2 gathers in Chicago

Class 2 of the Dairy Experience and Agricultural Leadership Program (DEAL) met in Chicago, Illinois, for Phase 2 of the program. The meeting took place the first week of August, and the theme for this phase was Connecting with Consumers. The various learning opportunities offered were meant to provide skills to connect with consumers both in-person and online.

The farmers participated in an ENGAGE training provided by the Center for Food Integrity, which taught how to connect with consumers on shared values. Don Schindler, Senior Vice President of Digital Innovations at Dairy Management Inc (DMI), provided interactive workshops focused on branding, video editing, and answering tough questions online. Serena Schaffner, Senior Vice President of Communications at DMI, shared more about the environmental messaging dairy farmers can leverage to connect with Gen Z. Attendees had the opportunity to tour Bel Brands’ USA headquarters in Chicago and learn more about Bel Brands’, including their Corporate Social Responsibility and consumer insights and integrated marketing communications areas of work. They also learned more about the history of GoodSport from GoodSport’s Founder & CEO, Michelle McBride, and rounded out the meeting by hearing from Midwest Dairy staff on projects they are working on to help build trust and sales for dairy.

“The presentations were all pretty interactive and engaging. They all tied into the theme of the week very well,” said one farmer on the post-event survey. Another farmer commented, “I’m so grateful for this program because I have learned a lot, experienced so much and met some really neat people in such a short amount of time.”

DEAL is an 18-month program that provides young dairy farmers an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the dairy checkoff, learn how to engage with consumers, conduct media interviews, and network with industry leaders and peers. You can learn more on our website by clicking here.