Teaching young advocates to spread the word about dairy goodness

Teaching young advocates to spread the word about dairy goodness

Return to November 2023 newsletter

Teaching young advocates to spread the word about dairy goodness

By Darren Turley
TAD Executive Director

The dairy story needs to be told again and again. Every month I have several discussions revolving around dairy facts and knowledge. I explain that whole milk is 97% fat free and tastes much better than 2% and 1% varieties. Or explain that just because a label says “milk,” it is not real milk unless it comes from an animal.

The need for education is so crucial to our future. The next generation must be educated on the true facts of the wholesome goodness of dairy products.

I have the opportunity to speak with students throughout the year. Recently, I spoke with several student’s groups, both high school and college.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Junior Dairy Consortium program for high school juniors and seniors, which covers Comanche, Erath and Hamilton counties, chooses a dairy farm in the area to tour and educate the students. This program has only been in place for a few years, but it has already grown significantly. This year, 50 students visited Wildcat Dairy in Gustine and got a better understanding of all the activities and job opportunities available on a modern dairy farm. These Future Farmers of America students are interested in a career in agriculture, and this program shows them so many job options in the dairy industry.

Tarleton State University holds a town hall event where students present their policy topic chosen for their class project to industry professionals who then provide insight on their issues. For the last few years, I’ve spoken to the students about various agriculture issues.

The Texas A&M University Kingsville agribusiness students from the RELLIS campus in College Station come to Austin for a “Day at the Capitol” to tour the capitol and discuss policy issues and how legislators could address them. The Texas Association of Dairymen helped procure speakers form various commodity groups and Capitol staff to visit with the students about agriculture legislation passed in last spring’s legislative session.

All these young people have a passion for agriculture but very little understanding of how the state’s various agriculture commodities are moved and marketed. The discussion of policy or even the importance of real milk versus the imitation “milk” is an educational mission that the industry must continue.

In the future, the dairy industry will need all of these young advocates to help share our message of the most nutritious and wholesome product that Texas dairy farmers produce every day. The Texas Association of Dairymen and everyone in the dairy industry need to continue to share the benefits of dairy goodness.

Return to November 2023 newsletter




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