Dairy checkoff spotlights 2021 projects


Dairy checkoff spotlights 2021 projects

The dairy checkoff lists partnership sales growth, sustainability projects, and Gen Z outreach as major highlights from 2021 efforts.

Head of Dairy Management Inc. Barbara O’Brien, who oversees the checkoff, says the industry not only adapted to the pandemic’s realities but used it as an opportunity to become even more consumer-centric and more efficient, and collaborative.

Dairy sales to Domino’s, Taco Bell, and McDonald’s increased by three percent over the past year, doubling 2020 sales. 

O’Brien says partnerships with international companies are expanding sales. Through October, total U.S. dairy exports were up 11 percent from the same period a year earlier and remain on a record pace. Export value was up 17 percent to nearly $6.5 billion for the same period, also a record pace.

The industry’s U.S. Dairy Net Zero Initiative also secured funding from Nestlé and Starbucks to support research, on-farm pilots, and efforts to increase voluntary adoption of environmental practices and technologies across all farms.

A $10 million grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research will also allow for the Dairy Soil & Water Regeneration project to perform feed production research over the next six years and the Greener Cattle Initiative will provide $5 million over five years to support research on enteric methane mitigation from cattle.