New England Dairy staff, delegates, directors, and guests gathered on November 7 and 8 in Essex, Vermont, for our 2023 Annual Meeting.
Staff shared highlights from our work throughout the year and gave attendees a look into plans for 2024 as we continue to work on your behalf to build dairy trust and sales. This year’s annual meeting also featured presentations from Dairy Management Inc.’s Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing and Insights Madlyn Daley and Executive Vice President of Wellness, Insights, and Innovation Paul Ziemnisky.
Our 2023 direction was Keep it Real, Enjoy the Good. Every time you drink milk or enjoy your favorite dairy food, you’re doing good for yourself and your family, the community, and the planet.
Dairy Sales In & Out of Schools: New England Dairy supports schools through equipment grants. In 2023, we provided over $83,500 in funding to 66 school districts, impacting 27,000 students. Smoothies have been the most popular equipment grant for schools the past three years. We continued our Chill Out with Cold Milk program that helps schools implement best practices for serving the best tasting milk possible.
Building on the success of last year’s eCommerce campaign, we launched a two-week campaign focused on cheese that resulted in $120,000 in total sales.
Building Dairy Trust in Target Audiences: Adopt a Cow is a year-long virtual experience that brings dairy farming to life for students. At the heart of the program is the ability for students to watch a calf grow in front of their eyes through photo and video updates while being connected to a local dairy farmer. We had over 1,600 educators enrolled this year – reaching nearly 60,000 students.
For Earth Day, we created an Earth Day TikTok campaign focusing on sustainability. Targeting Gen Z, the campaign featured three influencer videos and drove over 1.6 million video views.
New England Dairy focused on creating memorable in-person experiences with our Mobile Dairy Bar front and center. The Mobile Dairy Bar allows us to meet consumers in their communities, make milk modern and exciting, and provide answers to lingering dairy questions. We attended 32 events this year throughout the region, interacting with 24,000 consumers.
Outreach to thought leaders continues to be a priority for New England Dairy. We continued our efforts to connect pediatric care providers, including pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners, with resources to help parents of young children navigate their way through the exciting but sometimes challenging path to feeding their children. We engaged with over 1,000 pediatricians about the role of dairy in child development and taught 1,100 health professionals about dairy’s role in lactose intolerance, cultural diversity, and other important topics.
Farmer Relations: In 2023, we continued to grow our Digital Dairy Ambassador program. Ambassadors are provided toolkits and trainings to help develop dairy-focused content and messaging for their social media. Our Dairy Ambassadors created 230 posts that generated 9,700 likes and comments.
Another way New England Dairy supported our farmers this year was through dairy promotion grants. We awarded 25 grants totaling over $37,300. Funded projects include open farm days, agricultural career tours for students, children’s camps on farm, and more.
As we embark on a new strategic plan, our work will continue to address two goals: increase trust among our target audiences and increase dairy sales in target channels.
This work will be achieved with three pillars in mind:
Health: We will focus on all the ways dairy is good for consumers and their families.
Environmental sustainability: We will highlight dairy’s sustainability story and important moments in time such as Earth Day.
Community: We will share the impact our farmers have in our communities and how we can connect with one another and give back with dairy