While the dairy checkoff is focused on driving sales and trust today, it also is keeping an eye on the future.
Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), which manages the national dairy checkoff, has been engaged in dairy transformation efforts, which explore ways to turn possibilities of the future into realities for dairy today.
“It’s about securing a preferred future that is viable for the industry and for farmers of this generation as well as their children and their grandchildren,” said DMI Chief Transformation Officer Dwyer Williams. “We’ve embarked on a multi-phase plan that looks at how we ensure dairy is relevant for future global consumer needs and preferences that focus on driving innovation and contributing to a healthy planet.”
This initiative will be the focus of a World Dairy Expo “Tanbark Talks” session on Sept. 29 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. CST. The panel discussion is titled: “Farming forward through enhanced innovation and farm profitability.”
The dairy checkoff’s future work encompasses more than 45 people from 20 industry companies, as well as farmers and futurists, focused on opportunities that explore a new way of looking at dairy, specifically around identifying revenue streams for milk and cow manure.
“It’s about understanding milk down to its molecules and looking at science in new and modern ways to determine health outcomes for humans,” Williams said. “It’s about demonstrating leadership in on-farm resource efficiency and regeneration. This requires an intense understanding of consumers today and tomorrow as well as data and measurement to show them how dairy is doing against sustainability metrics.”
The checkoff’s World Dairy Expo session will be kicked off by keynote speaker Bob Johansen with the Institute for the Future. Johansen will explore how every person and organization must operate in a VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous).
A panel discussion will follow Johansen’s comments that will dive more deeply into the checkoff’s strategy of envisioning a secure future for the dairy industry. The panelists and their areas of conversation focus are:
DMI CEO Tom Gallagher (“Driving dairy sales today – anticipating the future on behalf of America’s dairy farmers”)
DMI Chief Transformation Officer Dwyer Williams (“Creating inspiring new futures for U.S. dairy”)
Kinnard Farms CEO Lee Kinnard (“Demonstrating leadership in extreme resource efficiency and regeneration”)
National Milk Producers Federation Vice President of Economic Policy and Market Research Peter Vitaliano (“Contributing to connecting the urban rural communities of the future”)
DMI Senior Vice President of Strategic Intelligence Eve Pollet (“Becoming a full spectrum health provider”)
Williams said the session will underscore how this is an effort being driven by the entire industry.
“It has to be the full dairy chain because we’re so interdependent,” she said. “It takes the work of the whole chain working together to transform the industry.”