The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board has a new name — Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW). This initiative represents a new strategic mission, vision and identity more firmly aligning the efforts of Wisconsin's dairy farmers to expand growth opportunities domestically and around the world, the organization said.
"As the marketing and promotion arm for Wisconsin's dairy farmers, this new identity puts the dairy farmers squarely at the center of what we do and provides a much stronger platform to share the Wisconsin dairy story," said Chad Vincent, CEO of DFW. "Our organization exists to be tireless advocates for our dairy farmers, to help these family businesses thrive because they, and the fruits of their labor, are the heartbeat of the industry and our state."
DFW said it builds awareness of Wisconsin-produced dairy products by creating national publicity, managing digital advertising, and driving sales, distribution and trial through retail and foodservice promotions. It also supports in-school education about the benefits of dairy and funding for the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Research.
As a key economic engine of the state, the dairy industry contributes $43.4 billion annually to Wisconsin's economy, generates tens of thousands of jobs and supports a variety of allied industries — as well as communities — throughout the state. Ninety percent of the milk in Wisconsin goes into making cheese, and 90% of that cheese is sold outside state lines, generating statewide income across multiple economic sectors, DFW said. Through the partnership between farmers and dairy processors, the state has seen Wisconsin specialty cheese sales outpace the cheese category overall and per-capita consumption of cheese more than double since 1983.
"The dairy industry is facing several challenges, including globalization of our markets, increased regulation and ongoing low prices for milk," said Jeff Strassburg, chair of the board of directors and a fifth-generation Wisconsin dairy farmer. "This change will put Wisconsin dairy farmers in a better position to help us grow and stay focused on the future."