Sharing Dairy’s Story to Health Professionals and Influencers

Feb 25, 2019
group of influencers in chef hats

Experiencing the goodness of dairy is always better than simply hearing or reading about it. Dairy MAX has an ongoing commitment to educate health professionals and influencers on the health benefits of dairy and the science to support it. These efforts have continued to make impact through farm tours, documentary screenings and events like the #DairyAmazing Symposium.

Each year Dairy MAX hosts the #DairyAmazing Symposium at the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio to provide the latest dairy research and hands-on culinary experience. Over 50 health professionals, physicians and bloggers joined Dairy MAX last fall to learn more about dairy foods and where they come from. This was the second year for Dairy MAX to invite health and wellness bloggers, who have great influence on social media and provide nutrition advice to large audiences of consumers every day.

Attendees had the chance to hear the latest dairy research from Dr. Gregory Miller, Ph.D., chief science officer at National Dairy Council. Dr. Miller touched on a variety of topics, from sustainability to incorporating dairy in the diet. The farm to fridge story was complete with New Mexico dairy farmers Tara and Daniel Vander Dussen in attendance. The Vander Dussens shared their farm story and helped put a face to the dairy products people enjoy. The group closed out the event by cooking up delicious dairy dishes.

"As dairy farmers, we know the milk we produce is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, but it was extremely helpful to hear from health professionals and dietitians about the science behind that,” says Tara Vander Dussen. “It was amazing to hear their stories about how dairy has impacted their patients for the better. The conversations we had with attendees proved that it was as beneficial for them as it was for us.”

Another way Dairy MAX engages health influencers is by giving them opportunities to interact with dairy farmers face-to-face. Farm tours were hosted throughout the region last year, allowing over 200 health professionals and thought leaders to witness the farm to table story. These attendees have potential to reach over 150,000 consumers through their influence as leaders in health and nutrition.

Since not everyone can visit a dairy farm, continuing to meet consumers where they are is important. Dairy MAX has teamed up with dietitians across the country to target universities with undergraduate and graduate nutrition programs for screenings of “Farmland”, a documentary film about modern agriculture. This makes is possible to bring the farm to influencers while shedding positive light on agriculture and food production.

Both efforts came together at Baylor University last fall, where 47 nutrition students and future registered dietitians screened the film and toured Waco Dairy. Mark Jackson, dairy farmer and owner of Waco Dairy, shared his story and had open dialogue with the students about where dairy foods comes from. Lunch was served at the Texas Farm Bureau office and the students heard from a panel of experts in agricultural sustainability. Future screenings are scheduled for Texas A&M University, Texas Christian University and UT Southwestern.

“Farmland tells the story of farm to fridge,” says Katie McKee MCN, RDN, LD and director, health and wellness. “Health professionals and consumers want to know where their food comes from. These screenings help bring them closer to the farm and tell the story of dairy.”

In addition to programs that allow Dairy MAX to make an impact in the world of health and wellness, there is also a focus on partnering with leaders in the industry to spread the word about dairy. The Dairy MAX Health and Wellness Advisory Council is the voice behind dairy’s nutritional advantages, made up of registered dietitians, doctors and other experts. This group provides the latest dairy information and trending topics to consumers through community events and the media. 

To learn more about Dairy MAX’s health and wellness programs, click here.