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Brenda's children, Everett and Vivian, at the Swanville High School Distributing milk. Brenda Rudolph / Special to Agweek

How do farmers support farmers?

On Feb. 4, Vivian and I were on "Party Line" at a local radio station sharing about the Morrison County Milk Project I created. We are bringing whole milk and chocolate milk to high school activities' practices throughout Morrison County. It is pretty amazing to see kids get excited about milk.

I started working on this project in December. In addition to bringing milk to activities, we are also raffling off dairy baskets at home games throughout the county. Each school decides where they want the proceeds to go. This project is giving back to my community.

While we were on the radio, the conversation turned to homogenized milk and non-homogenized milk. At this time, a caller called in and asked where she could get non-homogenized milk.

I am a conventional dairy farmer. Our cows are not grass fed. We are not organic. I do personally know organic farmers. I have a dear friend who is an organic farmer. When the caller called in asking where and who makes a product she wanted, I named the brand that first came to my mind who provides non-homogenized milk, Organic Valley. As soon as I said this, two separate farmers faces instantly popped into my mind. Farmers who I support and want to be successful. They in turn support me and want me and my family to be successful—even though we farm very differently.

Later in the day, as I recapped the time Vivian and I spent on "Party Line," I began to think how easily I could have said, "No, I don't know." How easily I could have stood on a soap box saying why my co-op is better. How easily I could have blown the caller off. How easily I could have went on about how my way of farming is the only way. It isn't. I don't want it to be. I want people to enjoy milk. I want people to know the importance of small farms in our communities. I want farmers to support other farmers. I want people to know "food is good."

The Morrison County Milk Project is doing that.