Vision Unfolds

Wisconsin initiative promotes profitable dairy farms.
The Dairy Gateway project is developing a grassroots network to promote profitable dairy farms and quality communities in northeastern Wisconsin. The project engages local stakeholders to develop a vision for the project area and specific commitments and programs that foster economic growth, environmental gain and community participation.
Dairy farms are vital to the future of Wisconsin’s economy and have great potential to protect clean, open space around its communities. The Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection are partnering with non-governmental representatives to break down traditional barriers between farms, government, municipalities and environmental groups.
Dairy farms participating in the project gain streamlined access to technical expertise, information on best management practices, compliance assistance, and the products of agricultural research at the University of Wisconsin. Passage of the Environmental Results Act could provide new legal and policy instruments to protect and support the commitments of all project participants, including local communities.
The distinctiveness of this project is captured in four points:
Environmental goals are premised on the interconnectedness of the ecosystem. In order to protect the ground and surface waters of the area, decisions and actions must reflect the relationship between what is done to the land and what shows up in the water.
Public policy goals are anchored in a body of law that captures the collective aspirations of a community that can do better than meeting minimal water and other environmental requirements, and provide an inspirational and replicable example of civic entrepreneurship valued in practice and validated by law.
Though piloted in a discrete region of Wisconsin, a successful project will carry far beyond, through best practices, public policies, community stories and images that resonate throughout the state to the world community.
Credibility and replicability are affirmed and facilitated by academic partners in the University of Wisconsin-Madison La Follette School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
The challenge in the Dairy Gate­way region is to develop new and improved policies and regulatory approaches for protecting the natural environment of the Great Lakes region while enhancing its economy and strengthening its social fabric.  
For more information, visit www.dnr.wi.gov.

Image Makers
Product and promotion news
Smith Dairy Products Co. has launched a new taste and look for school milk — chocolate low-fat milk sweetened with Splenda®. Marketed under the Smith’s brand, the product contains 31 percent fewer calories, 54 percent fewer carbohydrates and 54 percent less sugar than regular lowfat chocolate milk.
“Our objective is to respond to changing consumer needs regarding milk consumption,” says Bill McCabe, vice president of marketing. “We view our products as liquid nutrition and want to support the initiative to provide healthy milk alternatives to those with dietary concerns.” With the population facing an obesity crisis and the steadily increasing number of diabetics, it is necessary to develop products with fewer calories and carbohydrates, the company says. Many school districts are being encouraged by their medical advisers to reduce sugar intake in meal plans. Sweetening Smith’s chocolate low-fat milk with Splenda reduces the calories and sugars substantially. Smith’s no-sugar-added chocolate low-fat milk is packaged in half-pint, slim-line gable-top cartons featuring six school activity-themed designs. The package graphics are a visual reminder that activities and exercise are important for a healthy lifestyle. The new chocolate milk is part of a six-flavor program offered to schools and foodservice. The product will be distributed in schools and through foodservice operators to hospitals and nursing homes in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
In December, Madison, Wis.-based Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, highlighted Wisconsin cheeses perfect for adding ease and elegance to holiday entertaining. Brie, camembert and gouda were the focus of December’s Cheese of the Month program, an initiative developed by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board to familiarize shoppers with a wider variety of Wisconsin cheeses. Specialty cheese stores throughout Wisconsin featuring these selections offered samples of the cheeses as well as serving tips, pairing suggestions and a delicious recipe featuring each cheese. The savory Wisconsin Brie-En-Croute is an elegant, yet simple appetizer for a special gathering and Creamy Apple Dumpling Rolls made with Wisconsin gouda make for a delicious, festive dessert.