National, state and regional dairy producer checkoff board members recently approved a $158.1 million 2006 Unified Marketing Plan budget geared to help U.S. dairy producers grow their businesses by working to convert milk into products consumers really want.
The budget includes financial commitments from the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board and state/regional dairy promotion organizations participating in the 2006 plan. More than 300 dairy producer checkoff directors from national, state and regional dairy promotion organizations approved the plan.
"The new business plan is about driving sales of and demand for U.S. dairy products," says Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy producer and chairman of Dairy Management Inc., which brings together dollars from NDB and state/regional dairy promotion organizations to fund the plan. "Our purpose is to solve business problems. It takes an industry-wide plan and pooled resources to make this happen."
The 2006 UMP is further leveraged by strategic partnerships that add millions of dollars to dairy checkoff-funded promotion efforts, such as initiatives with national restaurant chains and retail outlets. Fluid milk, cheese marketing and dairy image budgets include funding for several major dairy checkoff initiatives, including: school marketing efforts to make milk more competitive in our nation's schools, the 3-A-Dayâ„¢ of Dairy program, whey nutrition research, and maintaining dairy's positive image with consumers and health professionals, among others. All programs bring long-term value for producers' investment, Rovey says.
In addition, the NDB approved the authorization of $6 million on a one-time basis for the purpose of funding a three-year study to develop methodologies to estimate air emissions from U.S. dairy farms. According to Woody Bryant, Arkansas dairy producer and chairman, NDB, the allocation of these funds will not have a direct impact on 2006 dairy promotion programs.