Illinois dairy farmer Amy Hildebrant, her husband Ken and four children, and her extended family are strong dairy champions in their community, and powerful collaborators with McDonalds as they partner to share dairy’s story with consumers. Several years ago, her farm hosted a Nation’s Restaurant News reporter, offering a tour to help the reporter, and ultimately the publication’s readers, better understand how dairy products, like McDonald’s ice cream cones, get from the farm to their restaurants. This tour is one of many the family hosts each year, including last summer’s Winnebago-Boone County Farm Breakfast, held during National Dairy Month, which featured the farms’s new rotary parlor and welcomed 2,000 visitors.
Amy also recently participated in the McCafe Sustainability Journey Experience hosted by McDonald’s in downtown Chicago. Along with two coffee farmers from Columbia, she shared examples of the sustainable practices used on her farm, highlighting how sustainable McCafe beverages are from the coffee to the milk and cream made possible thanks to America’s dairy farmers.
McDonald’s has averaged a 3.2 percent annual growth in dairy sales over their 10-year partnership with the Checkoff. Many of their new product launches and the transition to real butter on their menu were fueled by research findings funded by the dairy Checkoff and made possible thanks to dairy farmers who work hard each day to product delicious milk on their farms.
*Photos featured in this article were taken prior to March 2020 before mandatory mask/social distancing mandates were implemented.