Video series shares checkoff efforts in research, sustainability

 Investing dairy farmers’ checkoff dollars wisely is critical to Midwest Dairy, and the projects we engage in throughout the year are designed specifically to maximize each penny of the dairy farmer’s investment.
 Just as important as investing in worthwhile projects is our ability to share the results with dairy farmers. To share the results of some more complex projects, I developed the Sustainability in Action video series. This four-part YouTube series is designed to showcase the dairy checkoff’s efforts in research and sustainability, and how Midwest Dairy is growing trust and sales in dairy. To watch the full series, visit
 The video series kicked off in April of this year and focused on the Headwaters Agricultural Sustainability Partnership ROI Project. This project combines the efforts of dairy farmers and industry professionals to analyze the relationship between on-farm conservation and finances on row crop and integrated dairy operations. The conversations detailed the conservation practices dairy farmers implemented on their farms and the impact they had on both their land and finances. Currently, the video has been viewed more than 3,670 times with a total watch time of 37.8 hours. In addition, one of the dairy farmers featured, Steve Schlangen, was the recipient of the 2022 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
 The second video in our series, published in July, discusses how Midwest Dairy invests checkoff dollars to spread awareness of dairy’s sustainability story among consumers. This video showcased the 2021 influencer project Midwest Dairy undertook, where we partnered with five social media influencers in our 10-state region to share dairy’s nutrition and sustainability stories with their audiences. Staff shared results, and two influencers shared their testimonials about connecting with consumers and their relationship with the dairy farmer. We get many questions from farmers about working with influencers and the opportunities and challenges these relationships present, so it was an exciting chance to share these results within a unique, engaging video. This video was just recently published and, at the time of this writing, has had 109 views and has a total watch time of two hours.
 I encourage you to be on the lookout for the third video in our series coming in September, showcasing the many efforts of the Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center. Funded by checkoff dollars, the MDFRC is responsible for exciting research that impacts the consumer’s experience with dairy, improves quality and safety measures for processors, and improves the on-farm day-to-day experience. MDFRC is a combination of dairy farmers, industry professionals, and researchers and students from six universities, including the University of Minnesota, South Dakota State University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, University of Missouri and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This video will offer the opportunity to highlight how the research MDFRC conducts has a positive impact in the industry, both regionally and nationally.
 The final video is forthcoming and will feature an overview of the investments Midwest Dairy makes throughout the year into research and sustainability.
 We know dairy farmers are not only invested in the performance of their farms, but they are just as invested in the performance of their checkoff dollars. Midwest Dairy works hard to make every dollar count, and our Sustainability in Action series shows the unique and exciting ways we do this for dairy farms in our region and the dairy industry nationwide.


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