Partnering with sustainability thought leaders has proven positive in June. Midwest Dairy educates environmental sustainability thought leaders so they can use their personal channels and voice to share dairy’s sustainable nutrition story with their followers. Continuing and growing these relationships is important to Checkoff; keep reading to learn more about specific partners.
Midwest Dairy partnered with Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance in their Defining Decades field day events to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, Polk County, and Polk County Soil and Water Conservation hosted the field days. The flagship field day was held in Slater, Iowa, on Lee Tesdell’s Century farm, where attendees could observe water quality and soil health practices that he has incorporated into his farm and meet with other industries to learn more about their sustainability strategies. Midwest Dairy was part of the conversation bringing dairy’s story to life by sharing the industry’s net zero initiative. Joan Maxwell of Cinnamon Ridge Dairy also attended and was able to share sustainable practices from their farm.
Midwest Dairy also partnered with America’s Cultivation Corridor on their yearlong project, the Nex Gen Innovation Impact Study, at Iowa State University (ISU). The ISU interns spent the fall semester learning how innovations have elevated sustainability and resilience in food and agriculture systems. Midwest Dairy highlighted dairy innovations, the farm-to-table process, and set up a farm tour for interns to observe a working dairy farm. At the end of the semester, the Interns presented their learnings to an audience including their peers, other industry partners, and faculty at ISU. The Innovation Interns were also tasked with creating a questionnaire and surveyed over 500 of their Generation Z peers to gather thoughts on current environmental concerns.
More recently, the spring semester focused on learning to market and communicate their project findings to consumers. Midwest Dairy staff and Megan McAllister, an Iowa dairy farmer, participated on a panel with other social media professionals who discussed identifying good stories of innovation and using social platforms to share stories impactfully.