By Kim Buddington
Today’s consumers want the truth- especially when it comes to agriculture and the dairy industry. Unfortunately, the truth can be hard to find at times, and it seems to get lost in the vast sea of information available at our fingertips. To help make the truth about milk and dairy farms more accessible to people, a group of Pennsylvania dairy farmers has taken matters into their own hands by forming a new advocacy group- 97 Milk LLC.
“97 Milk was created to be a voice for our local dairy farmers.” Says Jackie Behr, a volunteer board member in charge of the group’s marketing. “This is a place where people can get nutritious information on dairy products, it’s a place where farmers can tell their story, a place where our community can get information on how to support local dairy farms.”
The organization gets its name from an important attribute of whole milk that has mostly been swept under the rug in recent years- the fact that whole milk is 97% fat-free! If you live in certain parts of Pennsylvania or New York, you may have seen this message painted on wrapped hay bales in farm fields. These eye-catching advertisements are only one of the ways that 97 Milk is working to spread the word about hardworking dairy farmers and the wonderful products they produce.
“97 Milk tells the story of the many farms that love and care for their cows,” Jackie adds, “the passion that many dairy farmers have, the many proven research-based facts on milk nutrition. This is our side that our community deserves to hear.”
It’s only right that the farmer’s side of the story gets broadcast. So often, it seems that all the other voices threaten to drown them out. Whether it be animal rights advocates, celebrities who think they know best, people who preach outdated health and nutrition information, and other individuals and groups. The time has come for dairy producers to stand up for who they are and what they do- and 97 Milk is an excellent platform.
“There are so many cool, fun facts on how milk is such a powerhouse drink,” Jackie says, “we just need people to start sharing it!”
If you’re a dairy farmer and would like to get on board, head on over to 97MILK.COM for lots of resources to help you promote at community events such as fairs. Having a good relationship with, and educating your friends and neighbors is a crucial component to helping clear up the many misconceptions that exist today.
Do you believe in the goodness of milk, but aren’t directly involved in the agriculture or dairy industry? You can still join the fun! Follow 97 Milk on Facebook and Instagram and share their content with your friends! Want to take it to the next level and make a financial gift to help support 97 Milk as they expand their reach? Donations may to be sent to 97 Milk LLC PO BOX 87, Bird in Hand, PA 17505.
Even though it’s been pretty gloomy in the dairy industry these past few years, Jackie does report positive things happening with 97 Milk. Traffic to the website has been steady, and even though their Facebook page has only been live for just under a year, they already have 8.4K followers!
Jackie and everyone else involved with 97 Milk hope you’ll partner with them in whatever way suits you best. Let’s all work together to bring flavor-filled, whole milk back! Let’s bring dairy back into public favor! Today is the day to make a difference.