Dairy is defined by giving this unique holiday season


This year of COVID-19 has been difficult for dairy, just as it has for everyone else. Challenges from roller-coaster prices to wildfires have all taken their toll. But difficult times also bring out what’s best in people, and that’s certainly true among dairy farmers and the cooperatives they own. That cooperative spirit of serving others helps define dairy.

Examples of dairy doing good abound this year. The ones below were shared by NMPF member cooperatives, each highlighting the work dairy farmers do every day to serve others. The list– ranging from individual donations to nationwide campaigns – is far from complete, of course. If you know of other stories that should be told, write us at info@nmpf.org with links and photos so we can add to this list!

Happy holidays. We look forward to being part of dairy’s continued commitment to improving lives in 2021.

Agri-Mark, Inc.: Cabot gratitude for frontline workers began in the spring, thanking hospital organizations with shipments of cheese. Since then, the co-op shipped more than 13,000 pounds of individual ¾-ounce bars to more than 1,000 hospitals and front-line organizations in 46 states. In addition, the co-op has donated close to 300,000 pounds of yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream. In November, Cabot began shipping out self-care packages for front-line workers; so far it’s sent over 2,000 shipments to workers in 16 states.

Associated Milk Producers Inc.: Throughout 2020, AMPI employees gave a collective of $11,000 to local food banks. In addition, AMPI is also part of a group of New Ulm, MN businesses dropping off care packages and treats for healthcare workers at the hospital, with each employee receiving a pound of Dinner Bell butter. Meanwhile, COVID-19 prompted a repurposing of Waverly, MN AMPI farmer Pat Bakeburg’s annual sale of his pumpkins for a charitable cause. This year’s donations were to the local food pantry and toy drive.

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