Michigan dairy checkoff secured milk and opportunities in 2020
The United Dairy Industry of Michigan says the checkoff was able to maintain its mission of connecting with consumers and building trust during 2020 while adapting quickly throughout the pandemic.
Jolene Griffin tells Brownfield helping connect food banks to a constant supply of dairy products and securing refrigeration equipment in turn created a pilot grant program for farmers to nominate local food banks for coolers.
“In March we saw a couple of our farmers using their dairy producer grants to purchase milk to take to food panties and we thought what else can we do?”
The organization donated $375,000 to food banks across the state to help with food distribution, connected local processors to food banks, and created several grants to keep milk flowing to those in need.
Griffin says they also worked with processors and grocery stores to remove limits on dairy products during the start of the pandemic.
“There are still cows in Michigan still giving milk, our dairy farmers are still committed to getting that milk to you,” she says. “Our processors are working hard, working around the clock to bottle that up, there is milk coming.”
She says the checkoff also moved promotion efforts to virtual platforms resulting in more than 58 million impressions throughout the year to connect with consumers on the benefits of dairy and how it is produced.