While the Tony Whitehead family of Conway, Mo., is busy showing cattle on one side of the Missouri State Fairgrounds, fair-goers can learn more about the family's commitment to dairy farming from a video playing in the Gerken Dairy Building. The video is part of a display designed to help the public understand the dedication and commitment of the state's dairy farmers. Two other Midwest dairy farm families are also profiled.
Midwest Dairy Association, which carries out promotion, education and research on behalf of dairy farmers through their checkoff program, created the video as part of an effort called "People Behind the Product". It's aimed at aggressively showcasing dairy farmers, including their care for the environment, their animals, milk quality and their communities.
"That's where the Whiteheads come in," says Stacy Dohle, industry relations manager for Midwest Dairy Association. "They had a wonderful story to tell everyone about how their dairy business crosses the generations, and how much they care about being dairy farmers."
The promotion group filmed the Whiteheads earlier in the year, and included segments of Bailee, 10, showing her cattle at the Southwestern Livestock Show in Ft. Worth, Texas, and of the family taking care of their herd at the home farm. "We were just really happy to tell our story," says Tony Whitehead. "We think all dairy farmers are a lot like us - just really focused on our cattle, our family and our community."
The display where the video will be featured also includes photos taken on other dairy farms, providing fair-goers a compelling reminder of how important dairy farm families are to a wholesome food supply, rural economic well-being and agriculture's future. One part of the display is a farm mailbox, which opens up to reveal fun facts about dairy farming.
After its debut at the Missouri State Fair and other fairs around the region, the video will become part of a program called "Speak Out!" Dairy producers will be encouraged to make presentations to community groups to help them understand dairy farming more completely.
For more information on the Midwest Dairy Association's educational and promotional programs, visit www.midwestdairy.com.
Check out all Missouri State Fair activities at www.mostatefair.com.