Over two dozen farmers traveled from Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois to Galena, Illinois, to attend Midwest Dairy’s first farmer workshop of 2023, where they had the opportunity to learn more about how Midwest Dairy works to build sales and trust in dairy while sharpening their storytelling skills.
Day one showcased trust and sales activations. Midwest Dairy staff shared insights about how checkoff builds trust with Gen Z through partnerships with high school leagues and how sales have increased through in-store and digital dairy promotions with food service partners. In addition, a farmer panel showcased creative solutions to local dairy promotion and emphasized the Undeniably Dairy grant program and leadership opportunities for farmers. The evening activities also provided ample time for networking and socializing.
On the second day, farmers participated in a “Breaking through the Noise” session focusing on storytelling. Participants shared where they personally show up as a dairy expert; identified distractions around the farm, like barn cats; discussed challenges faced in sharing personal farm stories; and, most importantly, the rewarding reasons why farmers share with consumers. The second half of the session focused on the formula to create captivating stories both in-person and online. Initial survey results indicated that after the event, farmers improved their understanding of how Midwest Dairy works to build sales and trust in dairy, identified leadership opportunities, and learned what resources are available to them. On average, the “Breaking Through the Noise” session provided helpful content and exceeded attendees’ expectations. Overall, it was a successful event in creating checkoff advocates and developing farm leaders, and Midwest Dairy hopes to replicate additional training in the future.