A LETTER FROM CHAD VINCENT, CEO, DAIRY FARMERS OF WISCONSIN (DFW)
BUILDING MARKETS AND DRIVING DEMAND FOR WISCONSIN MILK AND DAIRY IS WHY WE EXIST. Since 1983, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) has been helping drive increased demand for your milk by connecting with grocery retailers, building trust in dairy farmers and farming practices, and linking processors to key purchasers. All of this drives demand for and use of Wisconsin Milk.
Since the founding farmers created the marketing order in 1983, DFW continues to have an impact in an ever-shifting world. Over the past 40 years, our tactics and messaging have changed and evolved to meet consumer demands in the domestic and global retail markets. Families, schools, and even retail spaces look drastically different than they once did. To keep dairy relevant to today’s consumers facing a variety of competitors in the ever-changing retail environment, it is essential to have a team of dedicated individuals to ensure dairy has a place at the table.
INFRASTRUCTURE IS KEY. Wisconsin has an unmatched winning combination of dedicated dairy farmers, proactive processors, solid dairy infrastructure, exceptional educational facilities, and powerful sustainability stories to share.
DFW works in partnership with key industry stakeholders, such as the University of Wisconsin, United States Dairy Export Council (USDEC), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW), Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA), co-ops, processors, and numerous others to share the economic impact of dairy in Wisconsin as well as build and establish programming that supports Wisconsin Dairy. By staying connected within the industry, we avoid duplicate efforts and instead work together to drive dairy forward. From our schools to our export partners, Wisconsin truly is America’s Dairyland.
Wisconsin houses the unique and revered Center for Dairy Research (CDR) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In their state-of-the-art facility, the experts at CDR focus on driving dairy excellence and innovation, providing education, and enhancing quality. They are dedicated to making the dairy industry successful. The partnership between DFW and CDR sets Wisconsin apart from other states.
DFW supports CDR dairy research and its world-class facility, driving the development of new products to meet consumer demands both domestically and abroad. Some of the ways CDR helps create new markets for Wisconsin Milk include:
- Retaining an unparalleled group of world-renowned scientists and educators with expertise in dairy research, innovation, and technical support.
- Providing continuous education about current research, real-world experiences, and a solid combination of lectures and hands-on learning for continuous dairy optimization.
- Partnering with DFW to elevate the Master Cheesemaker Program (the only Master Cheesemaker Program outside of Switzerland) and share its 29 years of continued success.
SUSTAINABILITY HAS MANY DEFINITIONS AND COMES IN MANY FORMS, but we do know that it has an impact on consumer plans to purchase. Sharing our farmers’ stories of land stewardship, cow care, and conservation practices that continue to be part of our Wisconsin tradition as they have been for generations, allows consumers to connect with where their food comes from and the people who make it possible.
WISCONSIN IS MAKING STEADY PROGRESS. About one in six days’ worth of milk currently leaves the U.S. to dairy-deficit countries. DFW helped increase the number of Wisconsin companies exporting their products to over 30, helping our state rank fifth in dairy exports and first in cheese exports. In addition, Wisconsin makes nearly half of the specialty cheese in the United States. By working with the more than 260 dairy companies throughout Wisconsin, we drive brand identification with the Proudly Wisconsin Cheese® and Proudly Wisconsin Dairy® badges on over 4,000 products sold in 99% of retail stores around the nation.
DISCOVER. TASTE. CELEBRATE. Our June Dairy Month efforts showcased farm families and products from across the state. From media interviews to dairy farm breakfasts, DFW provided messaging and materials to educate millions of consumers. Visitors discovered farming practices, tasted our superior dairy products, and celebrated our dedicated dairy farmers, making June a time for all of Wisconsin to embrace the history, pride, and strength in America’s Dairyland.
I encourage you to visit www.wisconsindairy.org or connect with a staff member to learn more about DFW’s programs that drive demand for Wisconsin milk.
Chad Vincent, CEO