With nearly 10 million residents in Michigan, there’s a lot of work to be done building the next generation of dairy enjoyers, reaching dairy consumers, and fighting food insecurity with the power of dairy’s nutrition. Since 1983, Michigan dairy farmers have supported the effort by providing 10 cents from every hundredweight of milk to fund and guide the work that the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) can do in local Michigan communities.
As Michigan’s dairy checkoff, UDIM strives to build demand for all dairy foods and to exceed consumer and member expectations of products and services. And while not every consumer is a targeted audience of the checkoff, UDIM impacts influential consumers with key dairy messages in order to put the hard-earned dollars of Michigan dairy farmers to work gaining reach, growing engagement, and garnering impressions to make milk relevant to our neighbors.
Building the Next Generation
Virtual Farm Tours
UDIM reaches teachers and students with virtual tours of Michigan dairy farms and processing facilities. During the virtual tours, teachers and students can interact and have real conversations with dairy farmers from the convenience of their classroom while learning directly from dairy farmers how milk and other dairy foods get from the farm to their schools.
By the numbers, since the program began in 2019:
- 16 tours
- 141,300 people reached
Chocolate Milk Grants
Chocolate milk is Nature’s Sports Drink and provides important nutrients high school athletes need to support muscle and bone development. The Milk Means More Chocolate Grant Program helps to support not only successful refueling after workouts and games, but also provides energy and nutrition to growing bodies, fuels student athletes in the classroom and fills nutrient gaps for many young people who may live with food insecurity.
Since the program started in 2011:
- 2,019 teams
- 91,562 student athletes
Partnering with the Detroit Pistons, UDIM works to amplify the benefits of dairy foods with influential and diverse generational audiences. The program features billboards, in-arena signage, photo ops, game-day activities, branded swag, community events, social media and more to help amplify the nutritional and performance benefits of milk. The outreach created unique moments to position milk as top-of-mind among athletes, amateurs and youth across Detroit, southeast Michigan and beyond.
By the numbers:
- 3 million impressions by targeted digital ads and social media posts
- 12 million impressions by a series of billboards along I-96
With more than 3.4 billion people actively using channels like TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and others, social media presents an incredible opportunity to share the benefits of dairy foods as part of a healthy diet and share about modern dairy farming practices.
By the numbers (January-July):
- Overall Social Media Impact:
- Impressions: 13.8M
- Engagements: 289.9K
- Influencer Impact:
- Impressions: 954.3K
- Engagements: 109.4K
Fighting Food Insecurity
Milk and other dairy foods are among the most requested items by food bank clients and UDIM helps increase opportunities to provide needed nutrition by partnering with retailers to encourage customers to donate milk to help meet local food bank dairy food needs.
By the numbers in 2021:
- 2 retail partners
- 220,309 gallons of milk donated
Food Bank Dairy Distribution
UDIM works with food banks and dairy farmers to ensure that local food pantries have the proper infrastructure to handle milk and other dairy products. Their goal is for all of those visiting Michigan’s food pantries to have access to nutrient-rich dairy foods.
By the numbers:
- Two years ago when our farmers saw more need in their local communities, we started a grant which provided a dairy cooler and dairy foods starter grant to food pantries. This program has since grown and to date we have placed 61 coolers, 10 infrastructure grants and 25 dairy food grants.
This article was originally published in the September/October 2022 issue of the Milk Messenger. Subscribe »