Frequently Asked Questions

About Midwest Dairy and Dairy Promotion

Q: Can Midwest Dairy influence milk prices?

A: No. The dairy checkoff program was created to increase demand of dairy foods over time. While dairy promotion is not able to influence milk prices, there are a number of areas where we work on the behalf of dairy farmers, including consumer education, issue and crisis management to maintain public confidence and nutrition, product, food safety and consumer research to name a few. Learn more about the role of dairy checkoff.

Q: How is Midwest Dairy structured?

A: The work of Midwest Dairy is guided by the Board of Directors, who are elected by dairy farmers who contribute to dairy checkoff. Board members represent all 10 states and are elected to serve, first on the division board before being eligible to serve on the Corporate board. Some of Midwest Dairy board members also serve on the board of Dairy Management Inc., allowing local input on the development of national campaign promotion programs.

Q: Who are the Midwest Dairy Board of Directors?

A: All board members represent their fellow dairy farmers. You can find a complete list of board members in the About Us section.

Q: How can I learn more about how my contribution to dairy checkoff is being used?

A: Dairy checkoff is working to build trust in and demand for dairy at the both the local and national level. You can learn more how Midwest Dairy is working on behalf of dairy farmers by checking out this infographic. Visit dairy.org to learn about national efforts. You can also reach out to your local Farmer Relations team member with questions.

Q: Who is my local Farmer Relations staff member and how do I get in touch with him or her?

A: Meet our Farmer Relations team.

Q: How can I get more involved in promoting dairy?

A: Midwest Dairy offers multiple resources to help dairy farmers promote dairy at the local level. We offer workshops to help you share your dairy story and engage with consumers. We can assist you with developing a marketing and public relations plan for your farm. There’s also a library of resources you can use when hosting an event on your farm or visiting a classroom. We offer promotional items to help you create an excellent dairy experience in our Producer Service Center as well.

Q: Does Midwest Dairy have resources to support local events?

A: Yes! Provide a bit of dairy flair with fun dairy-themed promotional items, such as coloring books, cow hats, bookmarks and farmer calling cards. Order yours in the Producer Service Center. If you are hosting an event, you may be eligible for a grant from Midwest Dairy. Check out the guidelines for dairy promotion funding.

Young Dairy Leaders

Q: What is the Dairy Ambassador Program?

A: The Midwest Dairy Ambassador Program is designed to build future dairy champions. There are Midwest Dairy Ambassador Programs in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Learn more about the program in each state here.

Q: What does being a Midwest Dairy Ambassador involve?

A: Midwest Dairy Ambassadors represent dairy farmers and the industry by providing an excellent dairy experience for consumers at local events, such as state fairs, farm tours, ag days and more. All Midwest Dairy Ambassadors attend workshops to help them connect with consumers and answer questions about dairy.

Q: Do Midwest Dairy Ambassadors receive a stipend?

A: Dairy Ambassadors receive a per diem stipend for each day they are participating in events. Additionally, Ambassadors receive a $1,000 scholarship at the end of their term.

Q: Is there a Dairy Princess Program in my state?

A: Not all Midwest Dairy states have a Dairy Princess Program. Learn more about the programs on the Dairy Princess page.

Q: Do I need to apply to be a Dairy Princess?

A: Each state that offers a Dairy Princess program has different requirements and application processes. See the requirements for your state on the Dairy Princess page.

Q: Does Midwest Dairy offer scholarships?

A: Yes! Midwest Dairy offers scholarships to students who are from dairy farms or pursing a dairy-related course of study. Scholarship eligibility and awards vary by state. See the current scholarship opportunities in the Scholarship section.

Q: Are there internship opportunities at Midwest Dairy?

A: There are! Internships are available in different locations and within different areas of Midwest Dairy. You can check out what’s available on our internship page.

Q: What resources does Midwest Dairy offer retail partners?

A: Midwest Dairy can help our partners create an excellent dairy experience in the dairy aisle to drive sales. We offer consultation on reinventing the dairy case, the latest in dairy research, consumer insights and trends. Learn more!

Q: Where do I find information about dairy research and consumer insights and trends?

A: Check out our Dairy Research and Trends page.

Q: Do you have information about dairy farming that can be shared with our customers?

A: Of course! Check out the stories of Midwest Dairy farmers. We also have stats and information about the number of dairy farms in the Midwest and the economic impact on local communities. We would love for you to share these stories and information with your customers in stores and online.

Q: Is dairy produced locally?

A: Dairy is local. In fact, it only takes about 48 hours for milk to travel from the farm to the store.

Q: How do I learn more about working with Midwest Dairy?

A: We would love to talk with you! Find a Midwest Dairy team member near you.

Wellness and Nutrition

Q: What are the recommended servings of milk and milk products a person should consume each day?

A: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recognizes that milk and milk products are linked to improved bone health, especially in children and teens, and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure in adults. The DGA calls for families to increase their intake of low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt, with a goal of three servings every day for people ages nine and older.

Q: Can a person still enjoy dairy even though they are lactose intolerant?

A: Yes! Lactose intolerance doesn’t have to mean dairy intolerance. And dairy nutrition facts from many health authorities show that milk and other dairy foods are an important and practical source of essential nutrients for all people—including those who are lactose intolerant. People who have difficulty digesting lactose can still enjoy dairy, ensuring they don’t miss any essential nutrients. To enjoy dairy, follow these tips.

Q: Do the fat levels in milk impact nutrition?

A: No, all types of milk—whole, low-fat and fat-free—deliver the same nine essential nutrients. Only fat and calorie content vary between milk with different levels of fat. Milk is sold in a variety of fat levels to satisfy different consumer preferences. While the current Dietary Guidelines recommend three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy, there is evolving research which points to the benefits of whole fat dairy foods, including milk and cheese.

Q: How do milk alternatives compare to cow’s milk?

A: There are many milk alternatives out there, including rice, coconut, almond, nut, hemp and soy beverages. However, these drinks are heavily processed and contain less nutrients than dairy. What sets real milk apart from milk alternatives is its nutritional package. Compared to milk alternatives (which generally have fewer nutrients, depending on the type you choose), milk provides nine essential nutrients. For instance, the protein content of almond, coconut and rice milks is significantly less than the 8 grams of protein found in an 8-ounce serving of cow’s milk.

Q: Are flavored milks a good choice for kids?

A: Yes, flavored milks have their place in a well-balanced diet. They provide the same nine essential nutrients as white milk, and dairy health facts gathered from research* shows that children who drink flavored milk have higher total milk intakes compared to those who only drink white milk. This same research shows that milk drinkers (both white and flavored) do not have higher BMIs compared to non-milk drinkers. *Murphy, M.M., J.S. Douglass, R.K. Johnson, et al J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 108: 631, 2008.

Q: Why is chocolate milk recommended as a recovery beverage for athletes?

A: The carbohydrates and protein in chocolate milk work together to refill glycogen stores, slow protein breakdown and encourage protein synthesis, all of which aid in recovery post-activity.

Q: How does Greek yogurt compare to traditional yogurt?

A: Greek yogurt is a hot item on the grocery shelf these days. It has a tangy flavor and a creamy texture. Compared to traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt is strained to remove much of the liquid whey, lactose and sugar, giving it a thicker consistency. It also contains essential nutrients. In some cases, Greek yogurt can contain double the protein and roughly half the carbohydrates of regular yogurt. Because of its consistency and taste, it also works well as an ingredient in recipes.

Q: Is there any difference between the nutrition of natural and processed cheese?

A: Both types of cheese include calcium, protein and phosphorus, making them a great part of a healthy eating plan. Processing allows for the addition of vitamin D and calcium. Manufacturers of both natural and processed cheeses are continuing to develop lower fat and lower sodium versions to meet a variety of consumer needs.

Education

Q: Is there information or resources about dairy that can be used in the classroom?

A: You can find different programs that can used in the classroom to help students learn more about dairy farming and dairy foods. Programs supported by Midwest Dairy include Discovery Dairy, Discovery Education and Fuel Up to Play 60.

Q: Do any of the programs meet common core standards or incorporate STEM curriculum?

A: Yes! Both the Discovery Dairy and Discovery Education programs meet common core standards and incorporate STEM curriculum.

Q: What is Fuel Up to Play 60?

A: Fuel Up to Play 60 is a school wellness program that is implemented in schools across the country to encourage students to make healthy eating choices and incorporate exercise into their daily routines.

Q: Is it possible for a dairy farmer to visit our school or classroom?

A: We would love to help you connect to a dairy farmer to visit your school or classroom. Requesting a visit is easy; simply fill out the request form. You can also request a visit from your state’s Dairy Princess.

Q: Are lessons plans or activities available?

A: Find classroom activities, lesson plans, dairy trivia and more in the Resource Center. You can even visit a dairy farm virtually through the online farm experience, which includes a handy user guide.

Q: Do have information about dairy farmers?

A: We sure do! See the stories about Midwest Dairy Farmers.

Q: Where can I find more information about dairy and dairy farming?

A: We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about dairy products, dairy farming and more. See them here.