DMI’s O’Brien Highlights Science-Primarily based, Partnership-Pushed Outcomes

DMI’s O’Brien Highlights Science-Primarily based, Partnership-Pushed Outcomes

Checkoff chief addressed almost 800 farmers, others at joint annual assembly

ORLANDO, Fla. – Dairy Administration Inc. (DMI) CEO and President Barbara O’Brien outlined a collection of checkoff-led successes, together with extra science-based and partnership-driven outcomes, to 780 dairy farmers and business representatives attending the 2023 joint annual assembly of the United Dairy Trade Affiliation, Nationwide Dairy Promotion and Analysis Board and Nationwide Milk Producers Federation held in Orlando, Fla, Nov. 14-15.

O’Brien delivered her remarks in a question-and-answer format with Pennsylvania dairy farmer and DMI Chair Marilyn Hershey and emphasised farmers’ “fingerprints” are mirrored within the checkoff’s Unified Advertising and marketing Plan.

“I made a reasonably large deal after I first grew to become CEO (two years in the past) that I might go on a listening tour and it continues,” O’Brien stated. “With so many new leaders and a renewed DMI marketing strategy, we took the checkoff on the highway – in all probability 40 conferences within the first quarter of the 12 months – the place we launched DMI or reintroduced who we’re in the present day, the capabilities and roles of every of the checkoff corporations and the way collectively, we are able to develop worth for farmers.

“The important thing takeaways are listening and motion, that I, and the checkoff employees, listened to farmers. We’ve made deliberate, significant adjustments that replicate your enter, so farmers see their fingerprints on a plan that drives larger effectivity and influence.”

O’Brien outlined three areas of checkoff-led influence from 2023:

  • Delivering extra science and out of doors investments
  • Extra centered partnerships and new product innovation
  • Extra in-market voices advocating for farmers and the business general

She emphasised the checkoff’s distinctive management capabilities throughout the business by stating, “If it wasn’t for the checkoff, who would do that work?”

“If not checkoff, who’s going to make these investments in analysis and in new partnerships to make sure we’re seen as a contemporary wellness answer?” O’Brien stated. “Who’s going to hunt relationships with these foodservice giants who might help drive client conduct?

“Who’s going to work with and thru others to guard dairy’s fame that’s so vital to the enterprise right here and world wide? Who’s going to watch the rising threats that we proceed to see on farms and now crops? Who’s going to make these investments to make sure we proceed to drive our international place as a provider of alternative? For me, if not checkoff, then who?”

O’Brien reviewed particular highlights from 2023, together with:

  • Taco Bell menu development – checkoff-led efforts at Taco Bell led to the chain making the Grilled Cheese Burrito, which makes use of greater than 10 occasions the quantity of cheese than its common crunchy taco, a everlasting menu merchandise. The checkoff’s onsite meals science crew additionally helped lead extensions on the road of frozen drinks, which use actual dairy creamer. All instructed, Taco Bell is projected to see dairy quantity will increase of as much as 7 %.
  • McDonald’s dessert emphasis – the checkoff helped McDonald’s revitalize its line of dairy desserts and shakes. O’Brien pointed to the Grimace Shake, which was launched this summer time and have become a viral hit that led to shake gross sales doubling throughout the marketing campaign. The checkoff additionally assisted with launches of recent McFlurry flavors and supported preventative upkeep testing of ice cream machines that in the end will assist maintain them working.
  • Faculty milk expertise – O’Brien referenced that 37 milk processors representing greater than 90 % of the college milk quantity dedicated to offering wholesome, nutritious college milk choices with not more than 10 grams of added sugar per 8-ounce serving, which meet USDA’s new proposed rule. DMI and state and regional checkoff groups proceed to check methods for college students to get pleasure from milk and different dairy-centric drinks in faculties, together with dispenser and aseptic choices and providing milk in distinctive methods, corresponding to on-the-go choices and provided in athletic departments.
  • Gasoline As much as Play 60 evolution – a altering and extra advanced college surroundings ensuing from the pandemic led to DMI transitioning its school-based Gasoline As much as Play 60 program to a extra centered “Gasoline Up” platform. In consequence, DMI ceased its 15-year partnership with the NFL and has entered a no-cost memorandum of understanding with the league. Gasoline Up permits the checkoff to work with a broader cross-section of companions and delivers faculties and households options and sources that improve entry to take advantage of and different dairy merchandise, expands meal participation and finds new methods to teach college students on the position dairy vitamin performs in wellness and educational achievement.

O’Brien and Hershey attended the current Worldwide Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit that attracted greater than 1,240 dairy leaders from 55 international locations to Chicago. Hershey stated many farmers and different representatives from world wide complimented the checkoff’s work.

“I persistently heard from farmers from different international locations that they wished that they had a mechanism just like the checkoff to steer and put money into collective work benefitting all farmers – science, innovation, advertising and points administration,” Hershey stated. “We now have constructed one thing that our friends the world over want that they had, and fairly frankly I’ve been requested many occasions, ‘how can we develop these packages?’ ”

Eric Klavetter, operations administrator for the Mayo Clinic, was among the many assembly’s visitor audio system. Klavetter shared his perspective on the significance of the collaboration with DMI and Nationwide Dairy Council. He mentioned Mayo’s imaginative and prescient and method and the way these values are aligned with the checkoff and the work being executed to speed up dairy vitamin analysis, schooling, outreach and transformation.

Kerry DeLaney, Basic Mills dairy enterprise unit director, shared the corporate’s imaginative and prescient and dedication to driving development with consumer-led innovation within the yogurt class. A crew of consultants from the checkoff-founded U.S. Dairy Export Council additionally supplied an summary of the following three years, highlighting export markets and potential alternatives and headwinds forward.

O’Brien stated the checkoff is extra vital than ever in a time of financial challenges for farmers.

“The present farm surroundings and the economic system is such an vital reminder to all of us and I’d wish to say to the farmers who’re right here and throughout the nation, as your employees, we’re so delicate to these enterprise challenges you face every single day,” O’Brien stated. “We use it to drive us to place our power into the Unified Advertising and marketing Plan and ensure each greenback is spent effectively to construct belief and drive demand right here within the U.S. and world wide.”

For extra details about the dairy checkoff, go to


About Dairy Administration Inc.

Dairy Administration Inc.™ (DMI) is funded by America’s almost 30,000 dairy farmers, in addition to dairy importers. Created to assist improve gross sales and demand for dairy merchandise, DMI and its associated organizations work to extend demand for dairy via analysis, schooling and innovation, and to keep up confidence in dairy meals, farms and companies. DMI manages Nationwide Dairy Council and the American Dairy Affiliation, and based the U.S. Dairy Export Council, and the Innovation Heart for U.S. Dairy.

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