Dairy check-off beneficial for farmersI must correct Alan Guebert’s column, “Nation shoulders 22 commodity check-off programs,” in the July 21 issue of Agweek.> First, farmers fund check-off programs, not taxpayers. The headline suggests otherwise.
By: Paul Rovey, Agweek
I must correct Alan Guebert’s column, “Nation shoulders 22 commodity check-off programs,” in the July 21 issue of Agweek. First, farmers fund check-off programs, not taxpayers. The headline suggests otherwise.
Second, for the dairy check-off, of which I’m proud to be the chairman, farmers have seen the benefits for decades and dairy farmers aren’t the only ones who believe that check-off helps drive sales.
A Texas A&M economic study, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual report to Congress, confirms our strategies like working with and through partners, instead of doing traditional generic advertising and promotion, brings positive results.
One example is the check-off’s partnership with Domino’s Pizza. From 2009 to 2011, dairy farmers saw a return of $7.70 for every check-off dollar they invested. That’s twice the initial return of $3.90 for the entire check-off before such partnerships began. For the past 50-plus years, I’ve woken up before the sun rises to milk my cows — a lifestyle my family shares with the nation’s nearly 49,000 dairy farm families who are passionate about providing people with a healthy, nutritious product.
For several decades, our check-off program has helped drive sales of our products and farmers know their check-off works. Every day, I talk with farmers and there’s genuine excitement and appreciation for the check-off and its role in keeping dairy’s benefits top-of-mind with consumers. They are pleased with what our check-off has accomplished and where it’s heading. They like our strong partnerships with restaurant chains, food manufacturers, health professionals, and others that are helping drive sales. They also appreciate that the check-off is leading the dairy industry to build consumer trust. I’m proud of our check-off and would love to hear from fellow farmers on how we can continue to invest our dollars wisely.
Editor’s note: Rovey is an Arizona dairy farmer and chairman of Dairy Management Inc.