The power of influence. Midwest Dairy partnership with Missouri-based RD Reshaunda Thornton to connect with consumers and build trust in dairy.

When it comes to health and wellness, there is a lot of information and mis-information out there, especially as it relates to dairy. We know there are many reasons why dairy is an excellent choice when it comes to nutrition and one of the ways Midwest Dairy is working to ensure that dairy’s sustainable nutrition story is reaching consumers in a way that builds trust is through partnerships with credible experts in the areas of health, wellness and nutrition who can reinforce dairy’s message.

An excellent example of one of these partnerships is with Missouri-based registered dietitian, author, media personality, public speaker and owner of Better Vessel Nutrition LLC, Reshaunda Thornton. Through a robust, integrated partnership that includes podcasts, virtual panel discussions, Facebook live events and more, Midwest Dairy is reaching Thornton’s large and diverse following, many of whom have questions about nutritious eating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle—an important audience for dairy.

Beginning in September, 2020, some of the topics and content she’s created to share dairy’s story with her engaged audiences include:

 “The Dietitian Against Diets” podcast:

  • On her podcast, Thornton speaks with a variety of experts who deliver a unique perspectives, truths and potential solutions to wellness-related topics. Many of her podcast guests include not only dairy farmers, but also other experts who can share dairy’s important role in everything from healthy eating, food insecurity, sustainability and more. For her first episode, dairy farmers Mark and Johna Fellwock from Monett, Missouri, spoke about life on their dairy farm. As part of the episode, Thornton’s also visited Sheer’s Dairy in New Haven, Missouri, where she produced a video showcasing life on a dairy farm that was then featured on her podcast.
  • Also highlighted on the podcast was pediatric physician and researcher, Dr. Mark Manary. As a long-time dairy supporter, Dr. Manary is well versed on dairy’s nutritional aspects and health benefits making him a strong advocate and supporter. On the podcast, Dr. Manary covers a wide variety of dairy-related topics including fermented dairy, lactose intolerance, dairy sustainability practices and much more, solidifying dairy’s critical role in nutrition. 

Weekly Coalition Series:

  • During the start of the pandemic, experts discussed the timely topic of food insecurity and kids. Ann Krautheim, MA, RD, LD, President & Chief Wellness Officer of GENYOUth joined the panel discussion to talk about rising food insecurity due to school closings, and dairy’s important contributions to addressing these issues.
  • In honor of Earth Day, Thornton hosted a Facebook live panel centered around sustainability. Janice Person, a longtime supporter of the ag community and founder of Grounded & Rising joined the discussion, sharing her expertise while providing examples of ways farmers continue to be leaders in sustainability. The panel also featured local St. Louis chef Anthony Devoti, who runs a farm-to-table restaurant with a new menu every day featuring in-season, local ingredients. Chef Anthony shared his passion for using sustainability-produced ingredients and the importance of knowing where your food comes and the farmers that produce it. In addition to the robust panel conversation, Thorton talked about some of her learnings from her visit to dairy farms and shared two sustainability videos that showcase the hard work of dairy farmers across the Midwest. 

Video Content and Virtual Events:

  • During National Hunger Action Month in September, Thornton partnered with the St. Louis Area Food Bank to create a behind-the-scenes video of foodbank operations. This video showcased dairy’s important role in addressing food insecurity by providing refrigeration units and monetary donations as part of the COVID-19 Dairy Donation Project. To continue this conversation, Thornton invited Ryan Farmer from the St. Louis Area Food Bank to be a guest on her podcast, further discussing the impact dairy farmers make in providing nutritious dairy products to those in need.
  • In November, Thornton joined Chef Christie from Midwest Dairy’s retail partner, Dierbergs, to create fun, dairy-inspired recipes while discussing dairy nutrition.
  • Due to the success of the first cooking event, Thornton teamed up once again with Dierbergs and STL BarKeep during the holidays to share dairy-inspired food and cocktail recipes. The “Virtual Cooking & Cocktails: Holiday Edition” aired as a Facebook live event where all recipes were shared prior so that viewers could create the dishes and cocktails alongside Thornton and her guests. Throughout the segment, dairy messaging was used, helping increase consumer trust in dairy while also encouraging consumers to purchase more dairy products to incorporate into recipes at home.
  • In May, Thornton convened an inspiring group of experts in the art of communication for a virtual episode of her Grit + Heart monthly panel series. Joining the episode was Kansas City-based dietitian and owner of Street Smart Nutrition, Cara Harbstreet, who shared her perspective on creating content, as well as her experience working in nutrition communications. The conversation showcased how communication influences decisions made by consumers. Both dietitians communicated the importance of supporting products they personally believe in and pledged their support of Midwest Dairy farmers and their nutritious products.

The partnership between Thornton and Midwest Dairy has not only allowed dairy’s sustainable nutrition story to reach a large number of people, but it has been mutually beneficial by allowing Thornton to have access to the stories and information about dairy that she also wants to cover for her growing audience as well. By speaking with a genuine and authentic voice, it has not only ensured that the correct story about dairy is being shared when it comes to nutrition and sustainability, but it is another way in which we can continue to build trust and drive dairy strong demand.

When it comes to health and wellness, there is a lot of information and mis-information out there, especially as it relates to dairy. We know there are many reasons why dairy is an excellent choice when it comes to nutrition and one of the ways Midwest Dairy is working to ensure that dairy’s sustainable nutrition story is reaching consumers in a way that builds trust is through partnerships with credible experts in the areas of health, wellness and nutrition who can reinforce dairy’s message.

An excellent example of one of these partnerships is with Missouri-based registered dietitian, author, media personality, public speaker and owner of Better Vessel Nutrition LLC, Reshaunda Thornton. Through a robust, integrated partnership that includes podcasts, virtual panel discussions, Facebook live events and more, Midwest Dairy is reaching Thornton’s large and diverse following, many of whom have questions about nutritious eating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle—an important audience for dairy.

Beginning in September, 2020, some of the topics and content she’s created to share dairy’s story with her engaged audiences include:

 “The Dietitian Against Diets” podcast:

  • On her podcast, Thornton speaks with a variety of experts who deliver a unique perspectives, truths and potential solutions to wellness-related topics. Many of her podcast guests include not only dairy farmers, but also other experts who can share dairy’s important role in everything from healthy eating, food insecurity, sustainability and more. For her first episode, dairy farmers Mark and Johna Fellwock from Monett, Missouri, spoke about life on their dairy farm. As part of the episode, Thornton’s also visited Sheer’s Dairy in New Haven, Missouri, where she produced a video showcasing life on a dairy farm that was then featured on her podcast.
  • Also highlighted on the podcast was pediatric physician and researcher, Dr. Mark Manary. As a long-time dairy supporter, Dr. Manary is well versed on dairy’s nutritional aspects and health benefits making him a strong advocate and supporter. On the podcast, Dr. Manary covers a wide variety of dairy-related topics including fermented dairy, lactose intolerance, dairy sustainability practices and much more, solidifying dairy’s critical role in nutrition. 

Weekly Coalition Series:

  • During the start of the pandemic, experts discussed the timely topic of food insecurity and kids. Ann Krautheim, MA, RD, LD, President & Chief Wellness Officer of GENYOUth joined the panel discussion to talk about rising food insecurity due to school closings, and dairy’s important contributions to addressing these issues.
  • In honor of Earth Day, Thornton hosted a Facebook live panel centered around sustainability. Janice Person, a longtime supporter of the ag community and founder of Grounded & Rising joined the discussion, sharing her expertise while providing examples of ways farmers continue to be leaders in sustainability. The panel also featured local St. Louis chef Anthony Devoti, who runs a farm-to-table restaurant with a new menu every day featuring in-season, local ingredients. Chef Anthony shared his passion for using sustainability-produced ingredients and the importance of knowing where your food comes and the farmers that produce it. In addition to the robust panel conversation, Thorton talked about some of her learnings from her visit to dairy farms and shared two sustainability videos that showcase the hard work of dairy farmers across the Midwest. 

Video Content and Virtual Events:

  • During National Hunger Action Month in September, Thornton partnered with the St. Louis Area Food Bank to create a behind-the-scenes video of foodbank operations. This video showcased dairy’s important role in addressing food insecurity by providing refrigeration units and monetary donations as part of the COVID-19 Dairy Donation Project. To continue this conversation, Thornton invited Ryan Farmer from the St. Louis Area Food Bank to be a guest on her podcast, further discussing the impact dairy farmers make in providing nutritious dairy products to those in need.
  • In November, Thornton joined Chef Christie from Midwest Dairy’s retail partner, Dierbergs, to create fun, dairy-inspired recipes while discussing dairy nutrition.
  • Due to the success of the first cooking event, Thornton teamed up once again with Dierbergs and STL BarKeep during the holidays to share dairy-inspired food and cocktail recipes. The “Virtual Cooking & Cocktails: Holiday Edition” aired as a Facebook live event where all recipes were shared prior so that viewers could create the dishes and cocktails alongside Thornton and her guests. Throughout the segment, dairy messaging was used, helping increase consumer trust in dairy while also encouraging consumers to purchase more dairy products to incorporate into recipes at home.
  • In May, Thornton convened an inspiring group of experts in the art of communication for a virtual episode of her Grit + Heart monthly panel series. Joining the episode was Kansas City-based dietitian and owner of Street Smart Nutrition, Cara Harbstreet, who shared her perspective on creating content, as well as her experience working in nutrition communications. The conversation showcased how communication influences decisions made by consumers. Both dietitians communicated the importance of supporting products they personally believe in and pledged their support of Midwest Dairy farmers and their nutritious products.

The partnership between Thornton and Midwest Dairy has not only allowed dairy’s sustainable nutrition story to reach a large number of people, but it has been mutually beneficial by allowing Thornton to have access to the stories and information about dairy that she also wants to cover for her growing audience as well. By speaking with a genuine and authentic voice, it has not only ensured that the correct story about dairy is being shared when it comes to nutrition and sustainability, but it is another way in which we can continue to build trust and drive dairy strong demand.