Aug. 7 2018 08:00 AM

When faced with dire market conditions, here’s something we can do rather than just say it.

I think we can all agree that we are beyond frustrated with the state of the dairy industry. Just when the latter half of the year looked like it might hold some hope, tariffs and politics made the outlook more than bleak. Most of us are past the point of seeing any solution and are just focused on surviving.

As farmers, we are all doers. We are used to being able to “do” something to achieve what we want. It’s how we get through the 365-day-a-year grind. I think the most frustrating part of the challenges we face right now is that nagging feeling of, “what can we do?”

So I was very excited to see the #10gallonchallenge pop up in my social media newsfeed this past week. It’s a very simple idea started by Ty Higgins, a farm broadcaster at Ohio Ag Net. In his Facebook video, he encourages consumers to support dairy farmers by donating 10 gallons of milk to their local food bank.

“I realized there is something we all can do to help that will moooove milk and help others around our community in the process,” Ty says in his post. I just love that this is such a simple and easy idea that anyone can take on. It helps sell fluid milk and get it to the people in our communities that need it most. Milk is the most requested and least donated item to food pantries.

The #10gallonchallenge is not going to fix the dairy industry, but it feels great to have something to DO. I encourage you all to participate in the #10gallonchallenge, or at the very least be sure to share the idea with your friends and family. Sometimes it’s the simplest thing that can make a big impact.

Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of two young boys who round out the family-run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.

Mike Hutjens

Join us on August 13, 2018, for our webinar "What's different about Jerseys . . . and what's not" presented by Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois

Sponsored by Custom Dairy Performance / KTG North America

Hutjens will discuss guidelines and opportunities for Jersey herds based on the results of a thorough study of the top cheese yielding Jersey herds in the country. The impact of herd size, milk yield, use of BST, and mixed breed versus Jersey-only farms will be evaluated.

Register here for all webinars.