Annual Report - Advocacy is About Passion

Advocacy Is About Passion

As I closed out my second year as CEO, I found myself reflecting initially on a few of the challenges dairy faces: Milk’s role as part of the diet is being questioned, and new competition to milk and milk products is mounting. While it may be easy to focus on negative forces, I see our current environment as one that poses not challenges, but opportunities.

There is heightened interest in food, where it comes from, health and wellness and the intersection of all three. Consumers want to know more, and we can use this interest to put our passion to work.

While Dairy Council of California has a long history of educating consumers to make healthy food choices with milk as a cornerstone, we are now doing it in new ways, beyond our behavior-driven print programs, which last year reached more than 7.5 million children, families and adults.

It’s all part of our dairy advocacy strategy, which is about igniting a passion for milk and milk products and engaging with others. It’s listening to different viewpoints, initiating conversations and serving as the community face of dairy farmers and milk processors.

Here are a few examples of advocacy at work:

  • We’re sharing with thought leaders and health professionals a research foundation for positioning milk as an irreplaceable package of nutrients.
  • We’re tapping technology to play a bigger role in our education initiatives to reach more kids, more times and in more ways. Video, for example, will increasingly be part of our programs, and by the end of 2015 we will be developing an application for interactive whiteboards.
  • We’re teaching school foodservice directors how to creatively display healthy foods to nudge students to make healthier food choices.
  • We’re teaching dairy farmers, handlers and their employees how to engage with friends, colleagues and neighbors in new ways about the value of milk and milk products through our dairy advocacy training. In our first year, more than 200 individuals were trained, and we have plans to expand our corps of dairy advocates next year.

All of our efforts are designed to create fresh conversations about dairy’s position in a healthy diet.

Dairy advocacy reflects a shift in mindset. It’s a tipping point that builds upon the strong foundation and history of Dairy Council of California to make an even bigger impact through new ways of engagement, innovative programs and adoption of technology.


Tammy Anderson-Wise
CEO, Dairy Council of California