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Partner highlight: Kansas State University

May 29, 2024


4 minute read

Midwest Dairy partners with universities across the 10-state region to connect with college-aged Generation Z (Gen Z) students. These campuses allow checkoff funds to go further because they are heavily populated with students eager to interact and learn. Recently, Midwest Dairy saw success at Kansas State University (K-State) with several partnerships across the campus.

K-State’s Call Hall Dairy Bar invited Midwest Dairy to join as a partner during this year’s All-University Open House. This event includes activities across the campus and all departments, attracting potential and current students and their families. Call Hall Dairy Bar delivers an excellent dairy experience on campus throughout the school year, but there was an opportunity to invite more public engagement during what is historically the Dairy Bar’s largest sales day of the year. Realizing the opportunity on campus to reach Gen Z students and their parents, Midwest Dairy worked with the Dairy Bar to grow trust in dairy in several ways, including amplifying the visitor experience, offering a featured menu item, and connecting with students on social media.

The Undeniably Dairy lawn activities invited guests to stop, chat, and remember the visit with a “What’s your mood?” photo. Passersby had the opportunity to talk with dairy farmer Jess Wohler of Clay Center and see what cows eat. Students and their parents answered dairy trivia and were rewarded for their answers with prizes like vinyl stickers, sunglasses, and color-changing cups. This year, attendance grew by 10 percent from 2023, according to Dairy Bar sales. Watch a video recap shared on Instagram. The featured menu item was also a hit this year! The frosted lemonade shake, made with vanilla ice cream, was available for the entire month of April. Dairy Bar Manager Anthony Fink said, “The impact that the frosted lemonade had was extremely positive! It went so well that I decided to add it to the menu!”

Three women’s basketball players, including Ayoka Lee as a #FueledxDairy athlete, brought visibility and new followers to Call Hall Dairy’s Bar’s Instagram feed, as well as drew basketball fans to visit and take photos during Open House. The athletes’ combined Instagram posts reached nearly 13,000 people. View the social media photos each athlete shared: Ayoka Lee | Taryn Sides | Alexis Hess.

Consumer standing in front of What's Your Moo'd backdrop

Kramer Dining Center, one of three dining centers on the Manhattan campus, celebrated National Nutrition Month this past March. An introduction from Call Hall Dairy Bar helped Midwest Dairy demonstrate value as a resource for dairy nutrition and sustainability information. Midwest Dairy partnered with Kramer Dining Center, which celebrated dairy with a week of activities during National Nutrition Month.

Midwest Dairy also customized signage for the dining center’s steel cow milk dispensers that reminded students how dairy fuels their active lifestyles, reaching approximately 29,000 students. During Dairy Week, Undeniably Dairy items were shared with students, including color-changing cups and vinyl stickers. Social media from the dining department recapped activities on Instagram. View this video Reel to see what delicious dairy menu items students were treated to.

Lastly, Midwest Dairy is excited to announce our new partnership with the K-State Esports Club in 2024 as their official nutrition partner. The partnership aims to connect with adult Gen Z video game players to build trust in dairy. As a land grant University, agriculture, including dairy, is strong and visible at K-State. However, there is an opportunity to show up in unexpected places and align with the growing Esports Club that is gaining visibility on campus. Esports also reaches a high school audience through students considering the University during campus visits or participating in tournaments.

Call Hall bulk milk dispenser

K-State Esports is creatively spotlighting dairy to the team’s social media followers. The varsity team is wearing cow-print jerseys and starting online discussions about students’ favorite dairy snacks or drinks and even did a hoodie giveaway! An in-person dairy farm tour is also planned for the fall, as Midwest Dairy focuses on growing this partnership.