Central Dairy Plains Expo recap


Midwest Dairy participated in the Central Plains Dairy Expo in March in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. There, we had the pleasure of connecting with farmers through face-to-face conversations at our booth and sharing the impact of checkoff through a taste-and-learn session that brought checkoff partners to life.

The Midwest Dairy booth was a popular destination for dairy farmers to connect with Midwest Dairy staff, offering great conversation and connecting farmers to available resources. For the second year, attendees eagerly anticipated the engaging Midwest Dairy taste and learn experience, featuring checkoff partners Domino’s, Dollar General Corporation and South Dakota State University. These partners offered samples of innovative dairy products consumers enjoy today and showcased information and campaigns checkoff is executing to help grow trust and sales of dairy. Attendees learned more about the reason behind each partnership, asked questions and experienced these innovative products.

During the taste and learn experience, farmers explored the Domino’s partnership, learning about its potential to drive cheese sales. Of all Domino’s locations, 12% are within Midwest Dairy’s 10-state footprint. Domino’s recently added pepperoni stuffed cheesy bread to its lineup of stuffed cheesy bread and is seeing success. The oven-baked breadsticks are stuffed with cheese and pepperoni, covered in a blend of cheese made with mozzarella and cheddar, and seasoned with Parmesan and garlic. Dairy Management Inc. supported Domino’s with consumer research, which helped make the product launch a success. Checkoff also plans to work with Domino’s on an enhanced loyalty program that continues to grow and appeal to customers, ultimately driving pizza and cheese sales. Domino’s is actively innovating, presenting opportunities for collaboration to increase sales of U.S.-produced cheese in their products. Farmers sampled these pepperoni-stuffed cheesy breads during the event as they learned more about the partnership.

Another recent partner, Dollar General, collaborated with Midwest Dairy on a campaign during the 2023 holiday season and the new year. The partnership increased awareness and sales of fluid milk through strategically placed in-store signs. These signs focused on affordable nutrition by promoting milk as a good value, using our Undeniably Dairy tagline, “Real Milk. Real Nutrition.” Signage also promoted pairing milk with popular snacks, like cookies. The signage used throughout Dollar General stores was on display for farmers to see, and milk and cookie samples were available for tasting. This effort began as a joint program with Midwest Dairy and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan but has continued growing as other dairy checkoffs joined the campaign to grow dairy’s footprint.

Attendees also took a trip back in time as they found themselves on a “college campus” by exploring Generation Z activations that build trust with SDSU students. Activations include checkoff work with the SDSU Miller Wellness Center, interacting with fans at campus athletic games and partnering with athletes like track and field superstar Claire Beckman to share the story of how dairy fuels her life with her fans and followers. Checkoff displayed a backdrop featuring this partnership and offered a build-your-own yogurt parfait station. This yogurt station was similar to the one students enjoyed at the SDSU Miller Wellness Center.

This session provided dairy farmers with more than a tasting experience; it showcased how checkoff insights and research can lead to product innovation and sales opportunities working with the right partners. During this event, farmers also discussed how these partnerships impact dairy sales. Attendees engaged with the talented people behind the partnerships as well as national and regional checkoff staff. Attendees saw that behind every partnership is a commitment from both partners and checkoff to bring dairy to life in new and compelling ways.

Midwest Dairy always enjoys this event and plans on returning to CPDE next year. I encourage all dairy farmers who can make the time to come out, ask questions and experience what their checkoff dollars are doing for them in the marketplace. If you are unable to join us, look for these products near you as they continue to drive dairy demand and trust with consumers.


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