DFW Shifting Gears During COVID-19
In light of the unprecedented impact of the covid-19 virus and the significant changes to all our business operations we would like to share with you an important project that was completed this week. As part of our ongoing efforts to support Wisconsin’s dairy industry, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin has joined with other key dairy organizations, including members of the Dairy Food Safety Alliance, to provide timely information to farmers, processors and consumers on the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Our coalition is united in helping our industry navigate the pandemic and continue to deliver safe, quality dairy foods to consumers. Providing resources to processors, farmers and consumers is critical. It allows farmers and processors to safely operate their businesses, provide the products consumers love and maintain a high level of consumer confidence so we can continue to build demand for Wisconsin dairy.
 
To aid dairy farmers, manufacturers and processors, the coalition has created a resource website for COVID-19. There is a wealth of information that may be of interest to you, so please visit the site and utilize the resources available to you. We will continue to update this website with important information for the foreseeable future. Below is an overview of activities underway; please reach out should you have further questions. 
 
Chad Vincent
CEO, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin
Grassroots and local promotions
We expect the COVID-19 virus to impact many of the National Dairy Month events and activities. As such, DFW is encouraging local dairy promotion groups to get creative and look at alternative ways to celebrate dairy and encourage consumers to buy local. Listen to an interview between Fabulous Farm Babe Pam Jahnke and Beth Schaefer about the changes and plans for National Dairy Month.
Youth and Schools
Our team continues to work with schools and have been, upon request, quickly providing them with cooler bags to keep milk cold upon request as school nutrition teams have moved much needed meals to alternative pick-up locations. Staff has also provided research and insights to encourage milks continued presence in children’s meals. O ur online dairy education videos and other resources are available, and we’re sharing with teachers as they look for virtual resources as they navigate their new challenges of online learning.
Consumers
As consumers look at the value of fresh dairy and wholesome foods with new respect, DFW is reminding them that our dairy farmers are still in the barns producing real, nutritious milk for their table and products like cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream and more. This campaign will be appearing in the coming days across Wisconsin on TV, digital, radio and print.
 
With consumers at home, we're shifting our national approach to find new ways for them to engage with Wisconsin Cheese. We are sharing recipes and pantry pairing story ideas with reporters and on our Cheese Life blog. One of our national cheese ambassadors will be leading a pilot Facebook Live chat early next week, and we’re looking to re-use existing content to help inspire consumers on social media with pairing and new recipes featuring Wisconsin Cheese.
Notable News
Sales of fresh milk jumped 34%, this week compared to the week prior, as families prepared to stay home with children and limit time in public spaces. We have heard from some of the state’s processors that they are now dedicated to refilling the pipeline, focusing first on the most demanded milks, whole and 2%. Some smaller packages sizes and flavors may have limited availability as they work to ensure enough gallons of whole and 2% are at the stores. This may put a strain on the availability of chocolate, 1%, skim in some areas of the country.

Former CDC Chief Frieden promoted vitamin-D rich foods such as eggs and milk to reduce the chance of getting sick amid the crisis and states "adequate Vitamin D may potentially provide some modest protection for vulnerable populations." We are promoting stories like this to reinforce the nutrition of dairy to our consumers.
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