Celebrate With Information

June Dairy Month offers an opportunity to get better connected to the industry.

It is the time of year when the industry celebrates America’s great bounty of dairy products and pays tribute to its dairy farmers. Officially christened June Dairy Month in 1939, the annual celebration has blossomed into a national affair. The custom presents the perfect opportunity for the industry to remind consumers of the important role dairy products play in their lives.
Leading the way with dedicated fanfare is the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s (WMMB) yearly celebration; visit www.wisdairy.com for more details. In fact, simply typing “June Dairy Month 2006” into Google turns up a wealth of information on events nationwide.
Not only is June Dairy Month the perfect opportunity to remind consumers of the importance of dairy products, but it is a great time to inform consumers of the ways in which the dairy industry has changed. DTN Dairy, Omaha, Neb., provides the industry with a comprehensive package of news, market analysis and commentary, real-time market quotes and highly localized weather information, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
DTN’s dairy analyst, Rick Kment, reports that several trends in the dairy industry are revealing important information and outlooks for the year ahead. For example, milk production has been on a continual rise over the past four years and the trend is expected to continue in 2006, Kment reports.
According to the USDA’s Milk Production report, milk output in the top 23 dairy states grew 5.4 percent during January, versus a year ago. Also, dairy cow numbers are higher, up 103,000 head from January 2005.
The safety of U.S. dairy products continues to be a top priority in the industry, Kment says. Over the past 10 years, several issues have spurred heated debates throughout the industry, from raw milk to the growing demand for organic dairy products. The use of artificial growth hormones to enhance milk output in dairy cows also continues to lead discussions about the health and safety of dairy products.
The U.S. dairy industry continues to change, and has done so dramatically since Wisconsin led the country in dairy production. Over the past several years, changes in farm size and dairy practices have allowed states like California and Florida to become leaders in the industry, Kment says. While Wisconsin still has the most dairy farms of any state in the nation, the structure of how those dairy farms are run continues to change.
An authority on trends affecting the ever-changing landscape of the U.S. dairy market, Kment can be reached at (800) 485-4000.
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Product and Promotion News
HP Hood, Cabot Creamery and the New England Dairy Promotion Board will be involved with a different type of cow than usual when CowParade Boston kicks off this summer. The companies’ cow statues will be a part of Boston’s version of the world’s largest and most popular public art event benefiting the Jimmy Fund of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event features nearly 200 life-size cows, painted and created by local and national artists, grazing the streets and public areas of Boston for all to enjoy during the summer months. Following their showing, the cows will be rounded up for a cattle auction and gala event, where they will be sold to the highest bidder. All proceeds will benefit the Jimmy Fund, which fights against cancer at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. For more information, visit www.jimmyfund.org/cowparade.
Roberts Dairy, Omaha, Neb., is taking on a new look in 2006. But the company’s delicious flavor and taste will remain the same, says Jeff Powell, president of Roberts Dairy. The entire line of the company’s offerings — which includes milk, orange juice, fresh cottage cheese and sour cream — sports redesigned labeling. Coinciding with Roberts’ 100th anniversary, the new graphics replace a swirling design that had been a part of its packaging for several years. The new labels feature a quaint farmstead with a red-roofed barn, a pair of silos, a farmhouse and grazing Holstein cows. A large tree stands adjacent to the farmstead and a line of fresh crops can be seen in the background. The look of Roberts Dairy’s school milk carton has also been revamped.
The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington, D.C., has announced a new retail feature incentive program that makes chocolate milk the official drink of Halloween. The month-long promotion in October will encourage consumers to buy this healthy treat and offers retailers a chance to boost their sales during this fun and popular holiday. Each mass merchandiser, convenience store, drug store and supermarket that registers for the promotion will receive a point-of-sale kit that includes a banner, wobblers and static clings. In addition, stores will receive prizes for featuring flavored milk in their advertising during October. Retailers can pick either a larger quantity of lower value prizes or a smaller quantity of higher value prizes. Early prize shipping is available for qualified stores. For more information, visit www.milkpep.org.
Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings Inc., South Burlington, Vt., has announced its Do Us a Flavor Contest, an opportunity to become an honorary Ben & Jerry’s flavor guru and create an original, mouth-watering ice cream flavor. Those interested in creating the next Chunky Monkey®, Chubby Hubby® or Phish Food® can visit www.benjerry.com and get started. Site visitors can pick an ice cream base like brownie batter, white chocolate or sweet cream, then add lots of chunks and swirls and give the creation a catchy name. Flavor entries will be judged on creativity, flavor profile and relevance to the Ben & Jerry’s brand. For complete official rules and how to enter, visit www.benjerry.com.