The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, launched a NEW Dairy Campaign, “We Are Your Dairy Farmers: Stronger Together, Buy Local, Choose PA Dairy,” to encourage families to support their local farm families who work hard daily to produce fresh, local milk and dairy products to feed families. During COVID-19, milk is in high demand at grocery stores, but was suspended in other supply chain locations due to business, school and government shutdowns.
“During tough times, we are all in this together and will get through this together, but it takes a team. People ask what they can do to support us right now, given that the supply chain has drastically shifted away from restaurants, schools, colleges and businesses,” said Dave Smith, executive director, PA Dairymen’s Association.“Our goal is to educate everyone about the importance of our farmers to their local communities and economies, and when we buy local, and choose PA dairy or PA Preferred® products, we are getting 100% guaranteed Pennsylvania-produced milk.”
Lebanon County dairy farmer and mother Stacey Copenhaver of Talview Dairy noted, “We encourage Pennsylvania families and businesses to add dairy to their grocery store list or farm market trips and favorite recipes. We’re hopeful consumers recognize that it takes farmers working with our dairy processors, truck drivers, our farm employees, grocery store workers and retailers to deliver our delicious, power-packed beverage and dairy products to their homes during this critical time in our nation’s history.” The Copenhaver family appears in the new public service announcement.
“Our hope is that as Pennsylvanians hear our message, they appreciate how deeply we care about our animals, as a family, and how proud we are of the wonderful, nutritious product we produce every single day. Together we can support small businesses like ours and bolster our local economies by buying and consuming Pennsylvania milk, especially during these challenging and unprecedented times,” added Meadow Vista Dairy farmer and father Justin Risser of Bainbridge, Lancaster County, who also appears in the public service announcement.
In recent weeks, the entire food supply system was abruptly disrupted during government “Stay At Home” orders where universities, restaurants, businesses, schools, cafeterias, and the state and country were literally shut down. Demand for milk and dairy products shifted to homes, with everyone predominately eating in, not out at restaurants or cafeterias. However, farmers need to continue milking their cows and producing assorted safe, high quality, fresh dairy foods for families. To meet consumer demand during this pandemic, farmers are steadily supplying grocery store shelves and farm markets with their locally produced, nutritious milk.
Smith also stated, “Now more than ever, we appreciate all who are working diligently in the agricultural industry across the country, along with all our critical workers who are helping to navigate us through this pandemic. We salute our healthcare professionals, emergency responders, government leaders, and law enforcement for their noble efforts. And we commend everyone from our delivery services and postal workers to our veterinarians, our farmers, grocery store workers, truck drivers, take-out restaurants, processors, and others who are essential to the production, delivery and access to fresh foods for our families. People everywhere are hurting so we must also offer our vital support to our charitable food system during these challenging times through “Fill A Glass With Hope®” and through Feeding Pennsylvania and Feeding America food banks and beyond.”Last month, a new “Family Resources” tab was created for educators and families featuring dairy activities at www.PaDairymens.com:
- Discover Dairy – Brings the farm to you through this interactive cross-curricular, multi-level lesson series.
- Virtual Learning Library for elementary and middle school teachers and students.
- Farm Life – A Virtual Experience – Where visitors can explore a dairy farm or meet a dairy farmer to learn more about farm life.
- Free educational games, children’s books and songs, arts, crafts, experiments, family and kids-friendly recipes and more.
- The Calving Corner – Highlights the live dairy cow birthing center at the PA Farm Show, where dairy farm families share life on the farm videos.
- American Dairy Association North East (ADANE) – Offers “Farm Fun” with dairy farm tours and activities.
- Milk is the official beverage of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- Pennsylvania is home to more than 6,200 dairy farm families.
- Dairy contributes $12.6 billion in annual revenue for Pennsylvania.
- One 8-ounce serving of whole milk delivers 9 essential nutrients including 8 grams of protein.
- A glass of milk contains three of the four nutrients the USDA says are under-consumed by most Americans—calcium, vitamin D and potassium.
- According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, individuals ages 9 and older should consume three servings of milk, cheese or yogurt each day; those ages 4-8 should consume 2½ cups per day.
- Every one cow supports $24,000 in annual economic revenue in Pa.
- Every 10 cows support one job in the state.
About Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association: The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association is the oldest dairy group in Pennsylvania. The Dairymen’s Milkshake is the top-selling food item at the Food Court. The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association has been supporting “Fill a Glass with Hope®” with agriculture partners, Feeding PA, American Dairy Association North East, corporate partners and food banks since 2015. Over the past three years, the PA Dairymen have donated more than $1.4 million to programs including The Calving Corner; agricultural and educational projects; initiatives and scholarships; the Fill A Glass with Hope® fresh milk campaign for neighbors in need; the Choose PA Dairy consumer education and awareness campaign; the PA Farm Bureau Mobile Ag Education Lab that travels to schools; and the PA Dairy Princess and Promotion Program. Their philanthropic efforts build a brighter future for all Pennsylvanians. For more information, visit www.padairymens.com.