Healthy Conversation: Bridging the Gap With Health Professionals

Jan 4, 2021
Cheese Board

Heroes have shown themselves every day during the Covid-19 pandemic, and healthcare workers are heroes in masks. Through innovative work, Dairy MAX has joined hands with these heroes to educate them about the science of dairy, dairy farmers’ commitment to sustainability, how to use food as medicine and dairy’s direct connection to health.

The pandemic has dealt many challenges, especially to the healthcare industry’s front-line battle. It has also made it difficult to connect with these health professionals, a key audience in dairy checkoff’s efforts to build trust in dairy. But Dairy MAX has remained a trusted resource for this group by pivoting efforts to continue showcasing dairy’s role in nourishing people, communities and planet by hosting the sixth-annual #DairyAmazing Symposium in a virtual format.

“This year was more important than ever to bring healthcare professionals together,” said Lana Frantzen, Ph.D., vice president of health and wellness at Dairy MAX. “Covid-19 has increased focus on health as our wealth, and how we choose to nourish ourselves and family. Our team is dedicated to delivering the science and facts about dairy to healthcare professionals so that they can do their jobs even better.”

With over 55 health professionals in attendance, the virtual #DairyAmazing Symposium presented sessions on dairy’s role in both health and sustainability, the growing issue of food insecurity, connecting through Covid-19 and creating delicious dairy dishes through pairings and cooking demonstrations. Chris Cifelli, Ph.D., vice president of nutrition research at National Dairy Council, highlighted the dairy industry’s progress and commitment to reducing environmental impact – pointing out that dairy contributes just 2% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Trust in dairy farmers has increased 23% since 2018, according to Edelman Trust Barometer research. To continue this trend of building trust with the public, Dairy MAX gives local dairy farmers opportunities to share their stories. With this year’s #DairyAmazing Symposium going virtual, it was especially important to connect health professionals with farm families responsible for producing the nutritious dairy they were learning about.

Mother and daughter pair Jodi Jackson and Emily (Jackson) Lochner shared their passion for dairy farming at Bentwood Dairy, their central Texas family farm, and how they contribute to feeding the planet and nourishing their community. Throughout the presentation, the Jacksons built on their foundation statement that, “if you take care of the cows, the cows will take care of you.”

Attendees were inspired by the hard work dairy farmers put in caring for their land and animals.

“Hearing the Jackson’s story makes you want to go drink a big glass of milk,” one attendee shared. “The dedication and time invested in their herd is rewarding. It takes special people and a lot of hard work to run a dairy.”

Sharing this dedication helped Dairy MAX virtually bring dairy’s story to life for the #DairyAmazing Symposium. By bridging the gap between health professionals and dairy farmers, dairy had a platform to shine as a nutritious, affordable food that is good for the planet and continues sustaining communities during Covid-19 and beyond.

To learn more about Dairy MAX’s efforts to drive trust in dairy among health professionals, click here.