Many consumers enjoy the taste and benefits of dairy foods, but when it comes to understanding what dairy even is, where dairy products come from or how dairy farmers care for their animals, the environment and the communities they live in, misinformation is everywhere, creating confusion. In fact, according to a recent survey, nearly 50% of people think eggs are a dairy product, and nearly half of Americans don’t know where chocolate milk comes from.
To spotlight the role dairy plays in peoples’ everyday lives and to help consumers understand where dairy comes from, the farmer-founded Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, in partnership with nearly 42,000 family farms, processors and dairy brands, kicked off a month-long celebration of National Dairy Month on June 1. The events are part of the dairy community’s new campaign, “Undeniably Dairy,” a multiyear effort to showcase all that is good about dairy, from the farm to the foods people love.
Visit America’s dairy farms
Throughout the month, hundreds of America’s dairy farmers, from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin to Colorado to California, will be “opening their barn doors” to introduce people to their local farms and the families who run them. A variety of signature events, including farm-to-table breakfasts with local chefs and farm tours, will give consumers an opportunity to experience farm-fresh foods right from the source and learn more about where dairy comes from.
“We are excited to invite people to the source of their favorite dairy products so they can experience and see the practices dairy farmers are proud of and committed to,” said Ron Gibson, a fifth-generation farmer from Gibson Green Acres Dairy in Ogden, Utah, who hosted an event on June 1. “Visitors might be surprised to see that, like them, we use the latest technology to be more efficient, to be conscientious of our land and to take care of our animals while also producing undeniably great-tasting milk -- the foundation for all that is good about dairy.”
Despite the fact that there are dairy farms in all 50 states and most people live within 100 miles of one, a recent survey found that only one in 10 consumers has ever visited a dairy farm, making these events a great opportunity to experience life on the farm while learning more about where food comes from – like the fact that most milk travels an average of only 300 miles from farm to store shelf, and 97% of dairy farms are family-owned and operated.
Beth Engelmann, chief marketing communications officer at Dairy Management Inc., said, “What better time than National Dairy Month to showcase the undeniable commitment that dairy farmers have to their local communities? Our goal is that for every cup of yogurt or glass of chocolate milk that someone enjoys, there is a memorable connection back to the farmers that make it all possible.”