Dairy isn’t just a key economic engine of the state and it’s not just the beating heart of Wisconsin – the dairy industry IS Wisconsin. Every carton of milk, stick of butter, cup of yogurt or wedge of world-class cheese works as an ambassador for the people and values that make Wisconsin the special place that it is.
As an organization, we exist to be tireless advocates, marketers and promoters for Wisconsin dairy farmers and to make sure Wisconsin’s dairy products get the attention and respect they deserve. What we do at Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin matters – a lot – both to the dairy farmers we are privileged to work for and to the reputation and wellbeing of the state that we all call home.
Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin works to expand growth opportunities domestically and worldwide. As the marketing and promotion organization for Wisconsin’s dairy farmers, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin creates national publicity, manages digital advertising, and drives sales, distribution and trial through retail and foodservice promotions. By law, the organization cannot lobby.
A great portion of the organization’s promotion efforts exist beyond state lines, which is a strategic decision that aligns with where a majority of Wisconsin’s dairy products are consumed. It often surprises people to learn that 90 percent of Wisconsin milk goes into making cheese and 90 percent of that cheese is sold outside of Wisconsin. We are creating conversations that build awareness and affinity for Wisconsin specialty cheese at a national level, which paints a picture for our state’s largest industry and creates a halo effect for all Wisconsin dairy. By investing in sharing this message at the national level, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin drives millions of dollars annually in public relations value for Wisconsin dairy in outlets like the New York Times, HuffPost, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit and Rachael Ray Every Day. All of this publicity is available at www.WisconsinDairyBuzz.com.
Focusing on new markets has been a sound strategy for our organization, successfully making space for Wisconsin dairy products in 98 percent of stores across the nation. Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is the first state/regional dairy checkoff program with regional marketing systems in place across the entire United States. Our team works closely with retailers like Kroger, Safeway, Festival, Meijer and dozens of others to get Wisconsin dairy in their stores, educate dairy and deli personnel about Wisconsin dairy products and demo products to increase trial and sales. The reputation that comes with Wisconsin dairy, along with an easily identified logo and a consistent merchandising program, gives Wisconsin a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin also partners with dozens of major restaurant chains like Cousins Subs, Culver’s, A&W and Giordano’s to drive consumption of Wisconsin dairy products. These partnerships have exceeded billions of dollars in Wisconsin dairy sales and further increase demand. Our relationship with Culver’s encouraged them to begin using exclusively Wisconsin dairy in their nearly 700 locations across the nation, resulting in more than nine million pounds of Wisconsin cheese consumed in these restaurants each year.
Our continual support of Wisconsin cheese and dairy processors assists them in a variety of ways to move products into consumer markets. This includes a strong relationship we’ve established with the U.S. Dairy Export Council which can move more product into additional countries. Research shows that consumers are demanding Wisconsin dairy, and we will work to get them the dairy products that they crave.
Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin also supports dairy research at the Center for Dairy Research on the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus. The talented food researchers and scientists help Wisconsin cheesemakers and dairy processors solve technical issues and develop new and exciting varieties of cheeses like Roelli Cheese’s Little Mountain, which won the 2016 World Championship Cheese Contest. Not just focused on cheese, this world-class institution assisted in the development of Odyssey Yogurt, a Greek-style yogurt made by Klondike Cheese Co. in Monroe, which was recently awarded the top five placings in the Flavored High Protein – Cow’s Milk Yogurt category at the World Cheese Contest in 2018.
The infrastructure that holds up the dairy industry in our state puts Wisconsin dairy farmers, dairy processors and cheese companies at a strong advantage. Wisconsin has a great story to tell and a lot to be proud of. In order for our state to a have strong future, we must have strong farms. We work every day to champion the dairy farmers and put them at the center of everything we do. Go to our website www.wisconsindairy.org for more information and to see the impact of your promotional dollars.
Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin
About Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin: Funded by Wisconsin dairy farmers, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is a non-profit organization that focuses on marketing and promoting Wisconsin’s world-class dairy products. For more information, visit our website at wisconsindairy.org.