February 14, 2018

Promotional Campaign Connects Consumers to the Dairy Industry

Rebecca Eddy Murphy, Agricultural Development and Resource Conservation

Can you name the agricultural product that provides nine essential nutrients in just one glass, takes only two days to get from the farm to your fridge, and is always in season? If you guessed milk you’re not only correct, you are in touch with where your food comes from.

The Connecticut Milk Promotion Board, funded through contributions from Connecticut dairy farm families and in the Connecticut Department of Agriculture for administrative purposes, is spearheading a comprehensive promotional campaign to educate consumers on how committed the dairy farm families of Connecticut are to a sustainable environment, community, and economy in an effort to increase consumption of milk and value-added dairy products.

“Dairy production is a large and important sector of Connecticut’s agricultural industry and represents a significant portion of our farm families. From the milk our children drink each day in school, to the cheese and yogurt that have become frequent components of our meals, and the ice cream we so enjoy, Connecticut dairy farm families touch our personal health and that of our landscapes, contributing to the high quality of life Connecticut offers,” states Steven K. Reviczky, Connecticut Commissioner of Agriculture and Connecticut Milk Promotion Board Chairman.

Outreach is more important now than ever before, since the average American is at least three generations removed from the farm.

The newly launched website,, enables visitors to put a face to their farmers; learn about cow-care practices; receive facts about milk and value-added dairy products; and explore creative, delicious ways to incorporate dairy into their diet.

Compatible with mobile devices, the interactive map helps visitors locate a dairy farm with a retail location to purchase Connecticut Grown milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, or ice cream. Other site features include a calendar of upcoming events to help plan a trip to a local dairy farm hosting a tour.

Peter Orr, a member of the Milk Promotion Board and owner of Fort Hill Farms in Thompson, says, “It's with great enthusiasm that I welcome the release of the Connecticut Dairy website and other developments on behalf of our state’s dairy farmers. This information allows for the public to see and understand the multitude of contributions—environmentally, nutritionally, and economically—made by Connecticut dairy farms. Connecticut Dairy is about more than just local milk.”

The Milk Promotion Board is also using social media to engage the public and drive consumers to the website. A dairy producer toolkit outlining how to take advantage of these social media channels is in the works and will be distributed in the near future.

Connecticut Dairy is sharing daily farm happenings, nutrition facts, and more through the use of hashtags, such as #ctdairy and #ctmilk, on Facebook. On Pinterest, boards featuring dairy recipes for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and beverages, showcase the many ways dairy can be incorporated into ones diet.  Plans include expanding to other popular social networking sites as well.

The dairy farm families of Connecticut know that youth are our future and they are passionate about supporting healthy communities where children can flourish. Through a partnership with the New England Dairy and Food Council, they have been helping provide children with a healthy start.

Heidi Harkopf, director of Nutrition Programs at New England Dairy & Food Council, explains, “Through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, Connecticut dairy farmers contributed over $71,000 in grants to schools in 2017 to help support the expansion of breakfast programs, improvements to school lunch programs, and to provide increased opportunities for students to get closer to the goal of 60 minutes of exercise a day.” More than 900 Connecticut schools have signed up to participate in Fuel Up to Play 60.

The Milk Promotion Board has also partnered with the Hartford Yard Goats, Connecticut’s minor-league baseball team, to be a presenting sponsor and bring dairy to the ball field on Sunday, June 3, 2018.

Connecticut Dairy will be centerfield with a captive audience and will benefit from this opportunity leading up to the game by exposure to fans in and out of the ballpark, and through television, newspaper, digital, and radio marketing.

During the game, Connecticut Dairy will be prominently featured on the video board and public address and will interact with fans. In addition, a Connecticut Dairy member will throw out the ceremonial first pitch—cow costume included.

Dairy Day at the Hartford Yard Goats will also serve as the unofficial start of June Dairy Month to promote Connecticut dairy farms hosting a tour. Tours will be listed on, and for many visitors, it will be their first opportunity to see, or touch, a cow in person.

Melissa Greenbacker-Dziurgot, herd manager at Greenbacker’s Brookfield Farm in Durham, adds, “Reaching out to the public is really important. We’re located on a state road, and people see the cows grazing or get behind one of our tractors, but they don’t really get what’s going on. Open houses and social media helps them to understand. Watching their faces light up when they touch a cow is always a good feeling and they are reassured by our commitment to providing high quality care for the animals. The calves are always a big hit, especially with the students we host. Not only are we putting a face to the farmer, but the animals who produce the milk too.”

Connecticut is home to more than 110 dairy farm families working hard to put high-quality, healthy, and nutritious dairy products on the tables of Connecticut residents. In 2015, Connecticut cows produced 396 million pounds of milk, valued at more than $73.1 million.

Connecticut dairy farm families are committed to a sustainable environment, community, and economy.  Meet your dairy farm family and learn more about Connecticut dairy at

Dairy producers interested in receiving a toolkit and learning how they can take part in the promotional efforts, can contact or call 860-713-2538.