GENYOUth helping to keep school meals flowing

Alexis Glick For School's Sake
Posted 04/02/2020 by Alexis Glick

GENYOUth CEO Alexis Glick shares how the organization is leading efforts to help keep the supply of food going into schools through its COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Fund. More than 30 million children across the U.S. depend on school meals and the flow of food to them is challenged as schools are closing.

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Helping Those in Need Core to Farmers, Checkoff Work

For School's Sake
Posted 04/01/2020 by Marilyn Hershey

There is an organization about 15 minutes from my farm that has been feeding kids since the COVID-19 crisis started.

It got me to thinking that I can’t relate. I don’t know what it’s like to be food insecure because I have been around food production my whole life and we have never gone without.

Take a moment and try to imagine what that must feel like; to be hungry and not have a reliable source of food to turn to. It wrenches my heart to think there are kids and families who face this daily reality. 

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Unity abounds during these unprecedented days

Innovation Center for US Dairy
Posted 03/25/2020 by Marilyn Hershey

I’d be hard-pressed to find a time when solidarity mattered more in my lifetime. Not just for our country, but for our dairy industry. We’ll only get through these challenging times if we stick together and support one another.

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Pockets of success and reasons for optimism

Posted 02/03/2020 by Marilyn Hershey

I do not like seeing neighbors and friends across the country exit the industry. We’ve faced unprecedented economic hardships the last few years and it’s forced some farmers to make their most unimaginable nightmare come true.

To make matters worse, we see headlines that speak of an industry in trouble amid two high-profile processor bankruptcies, and activists seemingly around every corner looking to disparage the way we farm and the products we produce. 

I wish it could be as easy as saying to simply look away from the noise and stay focused on the things you can control, namely your farm and your family. But it sometimes becomes deafening and it’s hard to drown out.

Having said that, I want to start with a deep-breath moment: our dairy industry isn’t dying. 

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Checkoff-funded Dairy Research Centers Are Dairy's Secret Weapon

Dairy Research Centers
Posted 11/13/2019 by Marilyn Hershey

Did you happen to catch the results of the recent World Cheese Awards? The U.S played the role of disruptor with our specialty cheesemakers claiming 131 medals. But the biggest breakthrough moment came when -- for the first time ever -- a U.S. cheese took home the title of world champion. Rogue Creamery’s Rogue River Blue from Oregon beat more than 3,800 entries from 42 countries!

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Remembering Dean's passion for promotion, all things dairy

Dean Strauss
Posted 10/21/2019 by Marilyn Hershey

This is the blog I never imagined I would write. It probably is why I have delayed it for weeks. But for Dean’s honor, I need to just sit and let the words come out. I first met Dean Strauss at a Land O’Lakes meeting when his friend Jeff Straussburg introduced us. Dean was being appointed to the Dairy Management Inc. board as an advisor from Wisconsin. 

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Newtrient – a Powerful Tool and Resource for Dairy Farmers in Demonstrating Dairy’s Positive Environmental Impact

Newtrient Cost Benefit
Posted 04/05/2019 by Marilyn Hershey

More than ever, people are asking questions about their food. Not just about where their food comes from, but how it is produced, who is taking care of the animals, when was it produced in comparison to when it hits the shelf and what is being done at the farm level to help the environment. 

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Creating Future Dairy Champions - A Farmer's Perspective on Fuel Up To Play 60

Posted 03/11/2019 by Marilyn Hershey

As farmers, we often hear about our health and wellness program, Fuel Up to Play 60, but today we will hear firsthand from a program director. 

We know the program impacts and influences children in 73,000 schools across the country. We know FUTP 60 is a partnership between National Dairy Council and the National Football League and we know it optimizes dairy. However, rarely have we had the opportunity to hear from someone who has everyday involvement.  

Even more special – Bet Howrigan is a dairy farmer. I thought you might enjoy hearing her experience with FUTP60 and seeing how passionate she is.

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Don't Be Distracted From GENYOUth's Mission

Posted 01/17/2019 by Marilyn Hershey

My father-in-law is a former politician who used to hold two types of fundraisers. One was a basic pig roast that wasn’t too expensive and designed for one group of people. The other was held at a restaurant and he invested a little more money to appeal to another group.

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Fluid Milk Needed A Spark And fairlife Provided It

Posted 01/02/2019 by Marilyn Hershey

There are few farmer meetings or conversations where the state of fluid milk doesn’t come up. The category has been in decline for longer than any of us care to remember and farmers are understandably looking for a ray of hope.

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Bringing More Dairy to More People through Our Partnership with McDonald's

Posted 11/26/2018 by Marilyn Hershey

As I mentioned in my blog from last month on Domino’s, a key priority of the checkoff plan is the work that we do together with our partners that represent the leading food service and retail brands both here in the U.S. and globally.  Our investment includes providing partners like Domino’s, McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut – with consumer insights, product development and nutrition expertise to develop new menu choices that include dairy and that in turn, find new markets for farmers’ milk. 

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Farmers Take U.S. Dairy Checkoff Program's Global Vision to Japan, Hong Kong

Posted 11/02/2018 by Marilyn Hershey

Today I am headed to Hong Kong and Japan with three other dairy farmers as part of a week-long mission to bring U.S. Dairy’s export vision to these two important Asian markets.  Read more about our planned trip in my blog post on USDEC’s site.


Farmers Find Connection Opportunities Through Undeniably Dairy

Posted 10/22/2018 by Beth Engelmann

Last Friday, we celebrated National Farmers Day – a time to recognize and thank dairy farmers for producing the nutritious foods that we enjoy. The day also was an opportunity to bring people closer to where their food comes from, which is a primary goal of the multi-year Undeniably Dairy campaign.

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Why Skeptical Farmers Should Embrace Dairy Exports

Dairy Exports 1 out of 7 Gallons
Posted 10/01/2018 by Marilyn Hershey

The Chester County Holstein Club’s Field Day is a summer highlight for dairy farmers in the southeast corner of Pennsylvania.  

We enjoy the food, our families, neighborly conversations, cow judging and a calf raffle. 

My husband Duane and I hosted the event this year. A skeptical farmer approached me in our barn’s milking area.

I embrace conversations like this. I jokingly tell people a little-known historical fact -- dairy farmers invented skepticism.

“I don’t think we need exports,” the farmer said. “We need to stop focusing overseas.”

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Dairy checkoff programs partners, strengthen farmers' voice

Posted 09/28/2018 by Tom Gallagher

For farmers and other members of the dairy community, the current environment is challenging. From unpredictability facing our global markets and competition from non-dairy beverages to seasonal weather conditions and surplus dairy products and ingredients, there’s a lot of uncertainty facing U.S. dairy.

Over the last several months, I’ve visited with many farmers across the country to learn more about the realities you face, as well as discussing solutions your national and local dairy promotion organizations can lead, help support or rely on others representing U.S. dairy to take the lead.

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National Dairy Council Brings Farmers' Voice to Changing Conversations About Nutrition

Posted 09/16/2018 by Jean Ragalie-Carr

There is a lot of consumer confusion today when it comes to understanding nutrition advice and what constitutes healthy eating.

At every turn, or rather every click of a website, the confusion seems to grow. A recent survey by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation illustrates what it calls a “dietary disconnect” among consumers. A staggering eight in 10 people feel there is conflicting information about what foods to eat or avoid.

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Domino's - An Undeniably Strong Partnership

Posted 09/14/2018 by Marilyn Hershey

During the past ten years, we have invested in partnerships with influential quick service restaurant companies. That investment includes providing these partners with consumer insights, product development and nutrition expertise to develop new menu choices that include dairy and that in turn, find new markets for farmers’ milk. Our four key partners – Domino’s, McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut – have moved more than 2 billion equivalent pounds of milk in the duration of our work together. That’s a lot of milk flowing through this country.

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Reflecting on 10 years of Innovation Center Impact

Innovation Center
Posted 09/04/2018 by David DeJong

Texas dairy farmer David DeJong shares how the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy has helped producers and the industry over the last 10 years.


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Consumers Are Confused About Food Production And Nutrition But Trust In The Hard Work of Dairy Farmers

Posted 08/27/2018 by Marilyn Hershey

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Dairy Experience Forum, an event put on by the State and Region staff and board of Midwest Dairy. The two days were packed with thought provoking speakers, but the atmosphere was really set with the opening presentation.

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Creating Future Dairy Champions

Posted 08/13/2018 by Marilyn Hershey

I am truly enjoying my new leadership role for dairy producers as National Dairy Council Chair. What an exciting year it has been so far. I recently attended three events back to back that I want to share with my fellow farmers. - Guest Post from Dairy Farmer and National Dairy Council Chairperson Audrey Donahoe

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