May 29 2012 08:16 AM

Serve dairy products at events to promote the industry

Last weekend, I attended a high school graduation party for a student pursuing higher education in our industry. Family and friends gathered to celebrate the graduation and were treated to a dairy promotion experience.

cheese whipsTrays of sliced cheese, cheese curds and cheese whips (long strings of cheese) showcased the variety of ways cheese can be enjoyed. The mini cream puffs were being consumed by the handful. These golf-ball sized desserts were no comparison in size to the state fair varieties, but were just as popular. Multiple flavors of cheesecakes were available. In addition to the appetizers and desserts, butter was spread on the buns and the hot cheesy potatoes went fast.

serving milk at a party

Chocolate and white milk in the single serving size were kept in coolers and away from direct sunlight with prominent signage. The leading complaint of school children about milk is that it is not served cold enough. As the level of soda in the icy tank – soon to be a cattle water trough – declined and the bright sun set, the milk was moved into the chilly water in the trough. A high school boy walked by the tank, saw the chocolate milk, and said, "Oh, cool, chocolate milk!" He dipped his hand in the water, pulled out a bottle, and enjoyed a healthy evening snack.

The meal was held across the street from the family dairy. A few guests had never been to a dairy and asked (ahead of time) if they could see the farm. When the family arrived, the young girl, guessing her age at 5 years old, was talking about seeing the cows. "You'll see the calves and the cows today," commented the owner. "The cows, the cows, the cows," she chanted as she and her family were escorted across the street for a tour.

When you hold functions, do you showcase dairy products? At meetings, are dairy products served, such as at 4-H or fair board gatherings? What a great way to share the variety and quality of products that you help produce! And that little girl is probably still talking about seeing the cows, not even realizing there was a different reason everyone else came to the farm.

Showcase your products and share your passion. Consumers will notice.