April 2 2012 08:53 AM

If you are planning an event, whether a farm tour or school visit, now is the time to start gathering material.

dairy productsThere are several resources available to help producers promote the dairy industry and dairy products. Not knowing where to search for help or advice can be the barrier that stops people. We'd like to share some of the resources available that promote dairy and dairy products.

State or regional milk marketing boards have numerous educational workbooks for youth. Visit the Hoard's Dairyman Links page under Producer Organizations (http://www.hoards.com/industrylinks) to find the marketing board in your area. Coloring books to word searches and crossword puzzles – all focused on agricultural education and fun in learning for a variety of ages. These materials were made possible by producer check-off dollars and are available for promotion use.

In addition to just items for children, the consumer has material designed specifically for them. Quick recipes, using dairy products to the best pairings of cheeses with food and drink, can be found in printed form and on their websites. Don't be shy. These materials were printed for your use to promote the dairy industry.

Organizations like Farm Bureau, Ag in the Classroom, and Agri-Business foundations also have material available. Resources are not always free but usually are available at nominal costs. One such book is This Business Called Agriculture, produced by the Wisconsin Agribusiness Foundation. This 58-page workbook provides information on all of agriculture in the state, plenty of graphics, and educational word games. This particular workbook also has information on animal ID tracking and organic agriculture. While it may seem like material just for children, adults can learn a lot, too.

Material can be provided to teachers to share the story of dairy. The number of teachers with strong ties to agriculture continues to decline. Some are extremely grateful for the resources. The educational material is one part of the story. Putting your face, as the face of dairy farming, has even more impact. Whether you simply deliver the material to the classroom and get introduced to the students, or stay for 45 minutes to tell them about dairy cows and dairy products, it is something that they will remember. Visit www.dairyfarmingtoday.com and request information to help you prepare for student and teacher questions.

Start planning your dairy promotions now, as June will be here before you know it.