Celebrate National Farmers Day on Oct. 12!

National Farmers Day is a chance to connect with consumers and showcase the real farmers and stories behind dairy foods. On October 12, we encourage you, your employees and your organization to help us celebrate dairy farmers and inspire people to learn about where delicious dairy comes from at a time when questions about farming, agriculture and dairy have come under scrutiny.  Use the hashtags #NationalFarmersDay and #UndeniablyDairy. Update your Facebook profile frame on Oct.12; search for "National Farmers Day." For more ideas,  check out this guide!
Who is the New England Dairy Consumer?
We recently surveyed 500 consumers in New England to better understand their perceptions about dairy. People with positive opinions about dairy were much more likely to have visited a dairy farm before. Much of the stigma surrounding dairy comes from a place of confusion or conflicted feelings.
When asked if milk contains antibiotics or growth hormones, 43% of people didn't know. Many think non-dairy alternatives have the same nutritional benefits as regular milk. There is also confusion about whether milk is local; 45% said milk is not always local, and an additional 33% weren't sure if it was local. 

The research helps direct our priorities and allows us to measure change in opinion over time in areas like cow care, alternative beverages, and the origin of milk.  Consumer trends have also shifted the type of consumer outreach we do.
Cows Around Town Campaign Drives Awareness
This summer, Must Be the Milk sponsored a TV, digital, and social media campaign called "Cows Around Town" with FOX Boston 25. Ads  showed Vermont farms and Great Brook Farm in Carlisle, MA using modern technology to care for cows. The campaign drove over 6,000 people to our common questions web page in June and July where we address common myths about dairy. The average time people spent on the web page learning about dairy was nearly two minutes.
Large School Districts Focus on Breakfast Sales

A recent study
by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition 
Dairy farmer, Sherri Morrill, of Morrill Farm Dairy in Concord, NH, speaks to 100 students on Aug 1.
and Dietetics found that  eating school breakfast and school lunch every day by U.S. schoolchildren was associated with healthier outcomes.  This study has aided in our work to increase breakfast participation, and in turn dairy sales, with large school districts.

On August 1, students from these focus districts, farmers and educators gathered at Gillette Stadium to participate in a Fuel Up to Play 60 Training Camp. They were equipped with tools to implement breakfast programs.  Read the press release.
Live Segments Celebrate Dairy with Boston 25
The Story of Milk: From Farm to You at the Big E!
This summer, we visited 10 Massachusetts towns with Boston 25 for their Zip Trip live segment and events. We reached 25,000 people in person, and 3.3 million online and on TV! Watch the segments that feature: Dunajski Dairy, Hornstra Farms, and O'Neil Farm.
Our updated Story of Milk video features many farms across New England as they work hard to make safe and nutritious milk!

The video is part of our exhibit at The Eastern States Exposition, or Big E Fair, in West Springfield, MA that runs Sept. 14 - 30.

The Value of Dairy
State by State
Trainings Available
As the right to farm is challenged across our region, we've begun developing educational one-pagers that show the value of dairy, state by state. 

Read and share the one-pager on Vermont. A version for each state will be added to our  Local Farmers  page.
We hold trainings for farmers and 4-H students across the region. Topics include how to manage a crisis, farm tours 101, and how to have productive conversations with the public. Our next training on productive conversations is Friday, October 26 in St. Albans, VT. Email Farmers Watershed Alliance 
to RSVP.

Meet the Dairy Farm
of the Year in Each State!
New Partnership with Patriots Player Nate Ebner
The Dairy Farm of the Year award is given every year to one outstanding dairy farm in each of the New England states as part of the Green Pasture Award program. Visit our blog for a story on the winner in each state and past winners!
This year, we began a new partnership with New England Patriots player Nate Ebner to promote our Fuel Up To Play 60 program through physical activity and healthy eating that includes dairy.
Watch Nate and the program in action.

The "Telling Your Story" Booklet is in Spanish
3 Steps to Help You Win an Argument Online
Do you have Spanish-speaking employees? The "Telling Your Story" booklet is available in Spanish, and can help your employees speak in one voice about common farm practices.

For the English version, click here.
In the era of online activism and trolling, it can be hard to know when to challenge someone on the internet. First, here is a decision flow chart to help you know if you should even respond. If you do respond, here is brilliant way to handle an argument (especially in ag). Read more.
You can't beat the Dairy Hub.
Join it.

A community of farmers and dairy professionals are here to support, share and learn with you. The Dairy Hub is our online home for conversations, resources, and good dairy stories to share. Visit  http://dairyhub.org  to log in or create an account today.
In The News
We contact local news outlets with story ideas about the great things dairy farmers are doing. Here are some of the stories we've worked on recently. If you have an idea for a story or would like to write a letter to the editor, email Rene Thibault.

Dairy Farm Stories Dairy Food & Nutrition Stories
Gervais Family to Host 1,000+ for Breakfast, Farm Tour - VT Digger (VT)
Let's Get Ice Cream Social - The Berkshire Eagle (MA)
Over 1,500 Visit Gervais Family Farm - St. Albans Messenger & WCAX  (VT)
Health initiative earns Silvia school students a visit from Pat Patriot - The Herald News (MA)
Letter to Editor (Clara Ayer): Farms of All Sizes Best Use of Land - Montpelier Bridge (VT) 3rd Letter Down on Page
New England Dairy & Food Council Presents Awarding of Grant to East Bridgewater Public Schools - East Bridgewater Community Access (MA)
There's no giving up at Escobar's Highland Farm - Chronicle Channel 5 (MA)
New England Schools attend Fuel Up to Play 60 National Student Summit - NEDFC Blog
History Space: Story of 3 Vermont family farms - Burlington Free Press (VT)  There is such a thing as free lunch in Colchester - ABC 22 (VT)
Dairy Farming for 150 Years - Brattleboro Reformer (VT) Learn how to use yogurt to marinate chicken for a delicious meal! - WFSB (CT)
More than 2,000 flock to Kayhart Bros. Farm for breakfast, education - Addison County Independent (VT)
Big Y dietitians answer questions about dairy- Big Y Facebook page
Letter to the Editor (Seth Bahler): Responsible Farming - Journal Inquirer (CT) In The Bender Kitchen: New England Dairy & Food Council - Fast breakfast for crazy, busy mornings - WTNH (CT)
During the Halloween season, MilkPEP will establish chocolate milk as the official drink of Halloween for moms to serve their kids (ages 4-13) and focus on driving sales of milk online and at thousands of grocery stores across the U.S.

The promotion is from 10/1-11/4; follow along at https://twitter.com/MilkLife or download photos by creating an account on the MilkPEP website.
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