|Our cows strolling to the milking parlor|
The New York Times article is wrong. DMI was created by producers, for producers and is funded by America’s dairy farm families, not by the government. Dairy farmers fund and oversee state and federal promotion efforts known as “dairy check off” programs. As a dairy farmer, I invest $.15 per 100 pounds of milk to these programs; $.10 goes to the state promotion program (in Ohio that’s American Dairy Association Mideast) and $.05 goes to the federal program administered by DMI. Dairy farmers sit on the board of directors that oversee these programs.
As dairy farmers, we have established this dairy check off program to promote the products we
produce including milk, cheese and yogurt. This allows us, as individual farmers, to pool our money
with other farmers to create meaningful promotion and research programs. As a group of farmers,
we employ professionals to administer these programs so we can continue doing what we do best,
produce wholesome milk.
Dairy farm families are struggling making little to no profit over the last two years. I support promoting
dairy products because I produce milk and want consumers to purchase dairy products. I’m proud
to produce safe, quality, nutritious products that consumers enjoy. I have the right to fund a program
that promotes the product I produce. Dairy farmers are doing the right thing, funding their own
promotion program. We don’t look to the government to do it for us. Dairy is a part of a healthy diet
and 3 daily servings of dairy are recommended by the Dietary Guidelines of Americans.
Dairy producer funded DMI not only promotes dairy products, over half of their budget is spent on
health and wellness programs. Such as nutrition and product research, the Fuel Up to Play 60 program which promotes healthy eating and exercise to children, and efforts to build a sustainable U.S. dairy industry.
The New York Times article is inaccurate, I wonder about the author’s true agenda. Why doesn’t
he believe I have the right to promote the product I produce? The reporter acts as if he’s uncovered
a big scandal – dairy producers are working with restaurants and grocery stores to sell more dairy
products. Can you believe it! Outrageous! Yes, dairy producers work with companies who use dairy
products to promote their products. Domino’s pizza and McDonald’s milk and coffee drinks are two
examples of these partnerships. I’m disappointed other media outlets, The Columbus Dispatch and
CBS’s Katie Couric to name a few, haven’t bothered to check the facts. They simply regurgitate the
The New York Times author quoted a representative from the Physicians Committee for Responsible
Medicine who says people are fat due to the rise in cheese consumption. This Washington D.C. based group promotes a vegan diet and has close ties to extreme animal rights activist groups with
the goal of ending the consumption of meat, milk and eggs. Not exactly an unbiased source.
Americans eat an average of 33 pounds of cheese each year. People in other countries consume
more; Greece 66 lbs/year, France 54 lbs/year, Iceland 52 lbs/year, Germany 48 lbs/year, Switzerland
47 lbs per year and the list goes on. At least a dozen countries have greater per capita cheese
consumption then the U.S. Yet these countries don’t have the rate of obesity and health issues
American’s experience. Cheese isn’t making American’s fat.
Consumers have many food choices and that’s the way it should be. It’s not up to the government,
the media or anyone else to decide what’s best for you and your family to consume. Dairy is a part of
a healthy diet and I will continue doing everything I can to promote the product I’m proud to produce.
All this talk about dairy is making me hungry, on tonight’s menu for my family – pizza loaded with