In honor of June Dairy Month, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) members and employees celebrated the company’s core value of community by donating more than $24,000 to the Great American Milk Drive, which provides milk to local Feeding America food banks across the country. DFA’s donation will provide more than 4,800 gallons of milk to those in need.
The June Dairy Month fundraising efforts kicked off June 1 with World Milk Day, a worldwide recognition for the wholesome nutrition of nature’s most perfect food – milk. Across the country, DFA members and employees hosted World Milk Day events and were encouraged to raise a glass of milk to celebrate their passion and dedication to the industry. DFA pledged to donate one dollar to the Great American Milk Drive, up to $10,000, for every photo posted raising a glass of milk on social media with the hashtags #RaiseAGlass, #WorldMilkDay and @dfamilk. With this effort alone, DFA donated $10,000 to the Great American Milk Drive.
“The dairy industry has a huge impact on helping feed people. In fact, one billion people’s lives depend on dairy farming – so World Milk Day and June Dairy Month offer a great opportunity to celebrate the goodness of milk and those who produce it,” said Monica Massey, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff for Dairy Farmers of America. “Our farmer members and employees are proud to raise their glasses of milk and help make a difference in not only their local communities, but also throughout the world.”
Raising a Glass to Celebrate in Kansas City
Additionally, in Kansas City where the Cooperative is located, DFA surprised and delighted hometown residents on World Milk Day with a mobile milk bar serving a variety of hand-crafted, non-alcoholic flavored milk drinks. DFA’s mobile milk bar made stops at six different locations throughout the city, allowing local residents to enjoy flavored milk, cookies and take their own photos raising a glass.
“We wanted to celebrate World Milk Day in a big way and thought it’d be fun to give Kansas Citians a chance to raise their glasses and enjoy tasting some fun and unique flavors of milk,” said Massey.
Additionally, throughout the entire month of June, money was raised through member and employee monetary donations to the DFA Cares Foundation online giving site to benefit the Great American Milk Drive. The DFA Cares Foundation also made a dollar-for-dollar match for every contribution.
Other June Dairy Month activities across the country included:
- At DFA headquarters in Kansas City, Kan., staff handed out free milk and cereal to runners after the 10k and half-marathon races of Hospital Hill. Staff also volunteered at Harvesters, the local food bank and helped sort and package 600 pounds of cereal, 300 pounds of carrots and hundreds of boxes of canned goods.
- The Western Area held two volunteer days during the month, one at Second Harvest Food Bank in Manteca, Calif. and a second at the Orange County Food Bank in Garden Grove, Calif., where they helped sort items and fill nearly 1,100 boxes. The Area also hosted a food drive and collected more than 100 pounds of food from members, staff and customers as a result.
- Several hundred people attended an event at Mountain View Dairy, owned by DFA member Shelly Dickinson, on June 10 in Loveland, Co. The day was a celebration of June Dairy Month as well as Mountain View Farm’s 100-year anniversary. During the event, attendees toured the dairy and enjoyed food from local vendors. Several calves were also born throughout the day, and the herd vet was onsite to assist and answer questions.
- On June 23, employees from the Mideast Area office and Eastern Laboratory Services volunteered at the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank. Between bagging items, sanitizing boxes and more, the group helped provide 1,740 meals to those in need.
- This year marked 33 years that local dairy farm families have come together to prepare and serve a free, dairy-filled breakfast to their community members in Comanche, Texas. More than 600 people were served during the event, which was organized by local dairy families with assistance from area industry groups, including DFA’s Southwest Area staff.
- In Moss Point, Miss., the second-annual Middleton Farm Dairy Day was held on June 10. More than 600 visitors attended DFA members Jeff and Shane Middleton’s farm and learned about dairy products, made butter, petted the farm’s calves, checked out various machinery and watched live milking demonstrations. Not only was the family event fun-filled with a playground, waterslide and inflatables, but it also brought generations far removed from agriculture onto the farm and exposed them to farm life.
The DFA Cares Foundation was established in 2005 as a nonprofit charitable organization. Through the DFA Cares Foundation, DFA provides disaster relief via product and monetary donations, invests in the future of the industry with scholarships to students pursuing careers in dairy and contributes dairy food and products for those in need.
Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is a national dairy marketing cooperative that serves and is owned by more than 13,000 members on nearly 8,000 farms in 48 states. DFA also is one of the country’s most diversified manufacturers of dairy products, food components and ingredients, and is a leader in formulating and packaging shelf-stable dairy products. For more information, call 1-888-DFA-MILK (332-6455) or visit www.dfamilk.com.