Take the Dairy 3 for Me Pledge!

Published on Tue, 03/29/2016 - 11:20am

What we do every day on our dairies wouldn’t matter one bit if people didn’t want to eat or drink the end result. So in the middle of getting cows milked, heifers fed, calves delivered and the never-ending list of things that keep our farms running, it’s worth spending a couple of minutes encouraging our families, friends, neighbors and everyone else to eat up and drink up. It’s disappointing to me that so many people don’t get their recommended three servings of dairy a day. Earlier this year, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reinforced the importance of getting that amount because of the great nutrition dairy delivers. If everyone just ate or drank the recommended level — they don’t even need to consume more than that — our dairy industry would be in better shape and everyone could be healthier, too! Instead, the average person only consumes about half that amount. That’s why Midwest Dairy has launched the Dairy 3 for Me pledge this month. It’s meant to remind everyone of the recommendation to have three dairy servings a day, and we can help promote it in lots of different ways. First, the www.MidwestDairy.com website is where you and anyone else can take the pledge. Everyone who takes the pledge will receive exclusive newsletters with dairy recipes and nutrition information, so while it’s really important to send non-farmers there, you’ll enjoy this newsletter, too. When you go to the site, it has easy-to-use buttons to help you share the page with people you are connected to on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn. You can even choose a button to email it to people, or groups, you want to alert to the pledge. Second, Midwest Dairy wants you and your families to use the #Dairy3forMe hashtag in your online communication, helping spread the word about enjoyable and affordable dairy products. There’s a contest with prizes, and you’ll probably see some social media advertising if you’re active online. Take a selfie and tag it with #Dairy3forMe, or have your kids do it for you! Third, there are dozens of dairy events and opportunities coming up, especially as June Dairy Month approaches. It would be very easy to include Dairy 3 for Me in those events, helping others take the pledge to be reminded of dairy’s place in their life. If you’re a dairy farmer whose checkoff goes to Midwest Dairy, you can access their Producer Service Center at 1-877-360- FARM (3276) to get materials like pledge cards, signage and stickers. The For Farmers button at MidwestDairy.com also has order forms and information. I consider myself a Dairy Champion, and try to think beyond my farm to the people we depend on to consume the milk we sell and the products it’s made into. Because I’ve participated in Midwest Dairy events that reach kids and families, I see the benefits of communicating with our customers. We may not all have time to host a farm tour or open house, serve on a promotion board or be part of an event, but most of us can find a way to reach out to people in one way or another. Dairy 3 for Me is one opportunity. If it’s not you, then maybe it’s your kids, your employees or your extended family who can share this simple campaign. Outside of the Midwest? Doesn’t matter — the message is still a strong one. If you’re like me, getting your three dairy servings a day is easy, and it can be easy for everyone else, too. Maybe all they need is your reminder.

Bill Deutsch farms with his brother, Pat. He is chairman of Midwest Dairy’s Illinois Division and a member of the organization’s Corporate board.