Midwest Dairy has been working hard on farmers’ behalf, focusing on being efficient and effective regarding their 15-cent investment for promotion and research nationwide. In 2021, we started a three-year strategic plan with a vision of “Bring Dairy to Life for a Better World!” and the mission “Work with Others to Give Consumers an Excellent Dairy Experience.” Throughout the past two years, Midwest Dairy has focused on maximizing dairy farmer investment by creating programs and resources that:
– Increased dairy sales through collaboration with retail and food service partners and by embracing and enhancing consumers’ shift toward eCommerce. Many programs truly moved the needle for dairy this past year, including partnerships with retailers such as Cub, Hy-Vee, Pizza Ranch, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, and others across Midwest Dairy’s 10-state region.
– Grew trust in dairy by working with partners to showcase dairy’s unique wellness and sustainability benefits through events and activations such as Earth Day, state fairs, the College World Series, the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and more. We also partnered with trusted professionals like pediatricians and dietitians to share dairy’s unique nutritional benefits.
– Advanced research in dairy by identifying the most incredible opportunities that offer the most significant growth and how partners can use this information to fuel dairy sales and innovation. Midwest Dairy continues to partner with the Midwest Dairy Food Research Center, which is an effort between dairy farmers and land-grant universities with a mission of delivering research and education that benefits consumers and fuels a strong market for dairy.
– Created dairy checkoff advocates by continuing to work with farmers, processors and decision-makers. We showcased how Midwest Dairy provides tools and resources designed to share dairy’s story and the value of checkoff promotion.
– Developed farm and community leaders in dairy by working with farmers through the Dairy Experience and Leadership Program and dairy ambassador programs to provide resources and empower dairy farmers to use their unique skills to share about on-farm practices, sustainability and products with consumers.
2023 will be the final year of our three-year strategic plan, and our goal is to continue bringing the story of dairy's unique ability to nourish people and the planet to today's consumers throughout the entire 10-state region.  
Midwest Dairy values collaboration, and we realize it is key to the dairy industry’s success across the United States. We will continue collaborating with Dairy Management Inc. and other states and regions to promote dairy because what we learn from them strengthens our programs. I am proud of Midwest Dairy’s leadership in the federation. For example, we played a role in developing a high school STEM project featuring dairy, allowing our team to work closely with high school students across the Midwest and share some of our research and findings within the Generation Z sector. Other projects include outreach to college students, featuring dairy to promote a solution to bringing them health and wellness benefits. These projects showcase we are always willing to share our learning with others involved in dairy promotion, to jump in and help in any effort to increase sales and trust in dairy.
Your dairy story, the unique wellness benefits of dairy and your dedication to caring for the planet and your cows is always at the center of what Midwest Dairy does, and we are honored to work on the farmers’ behalf. I am excited to enter 2023 and continue showcasing the Midwest dairy industry.