Feb. 22 2023 02:47 PM

Pennsylvania dairy farmers suited up their calves to promote dairy.

E-A-G-L-E-S! If you recently passed by Kurtland Farms in southeastern Pennsylvania – home turf of the Philadelphia Eagles – you would have seen six Holstein calves sporting green calf coats with each of those letters. Or, maybe you saw the calves in one of the 85 news stories that featured their “uniforms,” including a video on the national show Inside Edition.

American Dairy Association North East (ADANE) teamed up with the Kurtz family of Elverson, Pa., to jump into the media frenzy around the world’s biggest sporting event earlier this month and positively tell dairy’s story without having to invest the average $7 million for a 30-second game day ad. Our staff visited the farm to develop a fun dairy story that was shared with local and national media, resulting in 85 news placements in television, print, and online channels and racking up more than 67 million media impressions. The Inside Edition piece itself was viewed more than 45,000 times on its YouTube and Facebook platforms! The estimated publicity value was nearly $200,000.

The Kurtzes have participated in several events and programs with us, including hosting a Virtual Farm Tour and a mugging for a photo shoot with Eagles player and dairy advocate Landon Dickerson, thanks to dairy checkoff’s partnership with the NFL through Fuel Up to Play 60. We were able to incorporate previously recorded video footage from the farm tour and photos from the shoot into the media package our digital team developed.

The calves were suited up in their jackets and the Kurtzes cleverly gave them names similar to those of familiar Eagles players but with a dairy twist. For example, instead of Jason Kelce, there was “Cowce,” and Dickerson became “Milkerson.” Name signs were posted on the calf hutches to resemble the team’s locker room.

Most importantly, though, Jared Kurtz masterfully slid in dairy messages about animal care to build consumers’ trust in what dairy farmers are doing on the farm.

“Using the calf coats was a fun way to weave in messages to help consumers understand how conscientious dairy farmers are when it comes to caring for our animals,” said Kurtz. “Any chance we can get to build trust in what we do on the farm is a win for us, just like the teams on the football field.

“This campaign went far beyond what we ever imagined and we’re proud to have been a part of it,” he stated.

“With one of the seven NFL teams in our region going to the big game, we were able to capitalize on the media craze that surrounds the event and showcase one of our dairy farm families who just happen to be major Eagles fans,” said ADANE CEO John Chrisman. “We’re so fortunate to have such talented dairy farmers who are willing to be spokespersons and go along with some of our out-of-the-box ideas, and this one really paid off.”

Jean Kummer

Jean Kummer is the industry communications specialist for American Dairy Association North East.