Many dairy farmers today weren't around when the national dairy checkoff was created. They don't know the history of why dairy farmers got together to create a self-help promotion program through Congress due to massive government storage build-ups of dairy.
The checkoff was created by farmers, for farmers, to build sales and trust in dairy in the U.S. and around the world. The checkoff does this through research and promotion, and how we do it is through partnerships and collaborations.
But what if you, as a dairy farmer, have a question about our sales and trust strategy? Where do you go to find answers or just talk about what's happening in dairy promotion?
I would start with your local dairy checkoff organization first. This is where the ten cents of the fifteen cents per hundred weight goes – straight to your local dairy promotion unit. If you don't know how to contact your local dairy checkoff, you can find out who they are on this map.
Your local dairy checkoff will be able to answer most of your questions about dairy promotion, because the national and local dairy checkoff work closely together through a Unified Marketing Plan. Working together at both the local and national level ensures we are saving farmer dollars and maximizing resources.
At a national level, we have a section of our consumer website dedicated to farmers. You can see our annual reports, highlights, and learn more about the different strategies and programs we have in place at usdairy.com. We also have a contact us form so you can email us directly.
We also have a weekly Dairy Checkoff Newsletter that shares both national and local dairy promotion news, as well as what farmers are sharing on social media. You can sign up through this form.
If you are on Facebook, the dairy checkoff has a promotional page and a private Facebook Group that has more than 1,500 dairy farmers plus national and local checkoff staff. On this page, we discuss dairy promotion.
If you like to listen to podcasts (and who doesn't nowadays?), national and local dairy checkoffs launched a monthly Dairy Checkoff Podcast that feature two farmer hosts discussing dairy promotion programs and issues with industry experts. You can listen to it here or on your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher.
If you would rather talk to someone one-on-one or through your favorite social media platforms, I'm always here. I'm happy to answer your questions and listen to your concerns. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The author is a Senior Vice President of Digital Initiatives at Dairy Management Inc.