Here are a few stories about your dairy checkoff programs in North Carolina. If you have any questions or need promotional materials please contact me.
Elizabeth Moretz  emoretz@sedairy.org 828-406-9482
Vote in the Dairy Promotion Referendum
The North Carolina Dairy Promotion Referendum is Thursday, May 18, 2017. This referendum is conducted every six years to give dairy farmers the opportunity to vote on the continuation of keeping a portion (10 cents per cwt) of checkoff funds here in North Carolina for local dairy promotion.
This is not an additional assessment, duplication or a change; it is only an authorization allowing the 10 cents to remain in North Carolina as it has for the past six years. If the referendum fails, all checkoff money generated by North Carolina dairy farmers would go to the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board, leaving no money for local activities.
Voting will take place at your local Cooperative Extension office and the law allows for one vote per farm. Anyone associated with the farm may cast the vote but they will need to provide the farm name and address at the voting location.
 
REMEMBER: Vote "YES" on May 18 to continue to strengthen milk and dairy product sales in North Carolina!
Dairy Fat Research Presented to Dietitians
Dietitians from across the state gathered in March for the North Carolina Dietetic Association meeting in Gastonia. The ADA of North Carolina sponsored an exhibit at the meeting and staff member Laura Buxenbaum provided educational resources about dairy nutrition to 150 attendees. The ADA also sponsored a speaker, Kathleen Zelman, RD, Director of Nutrition for WebMD, who spoke to the group about emerging research on dairy fat. 
 
Photo: ADA of North Carolina's Laura Buxenbaum (left) and Kathleen Zelman, Director of Nutrition for WebMD (right), promote dairy at the North Carolina Dietetic Association Annual Meeting
Iredell County Schools Feature Dairy During National School Breakfast Week
National School Breakfast week was March 6-10 and celebrated at several schools in Iredell County. Woodland Heights Elementary in Mooresville debuted a new Grab 'N Go breakfast kiosk provided by the ADA of North Carolina through a Fuel Up to Play 60 grant. Since the school began using the kiosk, breakfast participation has doubled! Troutman Elementary highlighted the week by adding a new yogurt parfait to their menu and they recruited local community partners to help serve breakfast. The week was kicked off by the school's 3rd annual Fuel Up to Play 60 Family Health Fair.
 
Photo: Woodland Heights Elementary kicked off National School Breakfast Week with a new Grab 'N Go breakfast station that offers both milk and yogurt. 
Checkoff Partnership Helps Increase Demand for Butter
As our checkoff partnership with McDonald's continues to create increased demand for dairy products, that increase is spreading to restaurants across the category.  For example, now that McDonald's has made the switch to butter, other restaurants are following suit. As the checkoff's work with partners continues, the increased use of butter and other dairy products on menus is likely to expand further. Click here to read more about the popularity of butter. Click here to see the commercial featuring butter in Burger King's new sandwich. 
Southeast Dairy Farmer Featured in
Progressive Dairyman
Last month we covered Alabama dairy farmer Will Gilmer's attendance at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas and now his account of the event was featured in a recent issue of Progressive Dairyman. Click here to read his perspective of the festival and why it was important for dairy farmers to be represented.

Photo:  Alabama dairy farmer Will Gilmer (left) and Michigan dairy farmer Corby Werth were two of eight dairy farmers to attend South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival on behalf of the dairy industry.