As we move into a new year, times remain challenging. Between milk prices at the farm, ongoing trade discussions, and increasingly more demanding customers and consumers asking for the transparency of sustainability of the supply chain from the ground to the gut table, these issues and many others are not lost on us involved in leading checkoff.
Over the past year, Midwest Dairy’s chairman, dairy farmer Allen Merrill, and I have been talking with many farmers who are working to keep the current generation on the farm and to pass along their way of life hopefully the next. I want you know that we hear you, and we empathize with you. That’s why your staff locally and nationally are committed to focusing on projects and programs that will have the most impact on driving demand for dairy foods and functional dairy ingredients domestically and internationally.
Like on the farm, there are a lot of forces outside of our individual control. We do remain focused on what we can control. As a quick reference, our Midwest Dairy team is focusing on:
- Providing our dairy category expertise to retailers to boost sales,
- Working with partners on fully developed school accounts to increase the selection of dairy foods offered to students at various points throughout the day, including access to milk.
- Bringing dairy to life with thought leaders who can be our ambassadors to the larger consuming audiences and,
- Supporting the industry-wide Undeniably Dairy consumer confidence campaign.
Despite the challenges the industry is facing, I am confident in the intrinsic value that your checkoff programs have generated and are generating for you, the dairy farmer. If you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to me with your ideas.