The U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog: Market Analysis, Research & News

  • U.S. Family Farm Stories: Animal Care (Video Series)

    By Margaret Speich and Mark O'Keefe September 16, 2015

    The second video in our four-part series shows how a Washington State dairy farmer loves and cares for her animals.

    Every two years, USDEC leads a “mission” to a key export market. In April, four of our mission farmers took the stage at the U.S. Dairy Business Conference in Singapore.

    Their stories prompted gasps of delight, ranking No. 1 in a post-conference survey. We wanted to capture it all for broader industry usage. Thus, this four-part video series conveying what goes into U.S. dairy products through the stories of our farmers.

    The second "reusable* video is below:

     

    TRANSCRIPT: We really love the animals

    My husband, Robert, and I farm in the beautiful rolling hills of eastern Washington State. Our mission over the years has been to provide high-quality milk and take good care of the animals.

    When visitors come to our farm, we are eager to show off the animals. They are good-looking cattle, with good conformation. Their udders look nice, their feet and legs are nice. They are content, laying down much of the time and chewing their cud. If you walk out to the lots, the cows walk up to you, want to sniff you—they are attentive and curious. We have several outdoor lots for the cows, but also a free-stall barn where the cows can lie down in stalls of their own choosing, and also get up and walk around for feed and water.

    We really love the animals. We know our cows—someone from the family milks them twice a day. A family member is there to attend every calving.

    All of the cows have names. Once I had a cow, Olivia. If I was in the parlor milking and called her name, she would work her way up to the front of the holding area, come into parlor and let me milk her.

    I enjoy sharing my story with customers. Some have called me a tireless advocate for the U.S. dairy industry.

    Simonson_squareWhen I was first appointed to the board of Dairy Management Inc. in 2012, one of the things that excited me most was the chance to learn more about consumers and how I could reach them in a positive way for dairy. I have worked trade shows―I like doing that. I would like to expand my reach even more. This is true not only for customers in the United States but here in Southeast Asia.

    We need to understand our customers―what they want, what they need, how they feel about animal care, so they’ll continue buying our products. I would like to know more about the buying habits of young adults.

    In Southeast Asia, fitness drinks and other nutritional products are selling well among young people. An important component of these products is whey protein from dairy products. I want to know more about the importance of whey protein in their diets, especially as they strive to become more and more physically fit.

    The dairy cooperative my farm ships to has a strong commitment to exports. Our biggest opportunity for growth exists here in the Pacific Rim countries.

    Because we live in the Pacific Northwest, we have a sense that Asia isn’t that far away—indeed, it is the nearest continent to where we live and a long-time trading partner for many of our agricultural products, including dairy.

    My husband and I have four children. One daughter, Shenelle, helps on the farm. Two other daughters, Kira and Jocelyn, and our son, Burk, are employed out-of-state.

    Our family is committed to providing customers around the world with high-quality dairy products. 


     "U.S. Family Farm Stories" includes these four videos:

    *Each video can be reused without permission. To share this video on social media, click the buttons at the top and bottom of this post. To put on your own site, see the video on YouTube and click the "share" button. To request a DVD, contact us at mokeefe@usdec.org or mspeich@usdec.org.

     

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    The U.S. Dairy Export Council is primarily supported by Dairy Management Inc. through the dairy farmer checkoff that builds on collaborative industry partnerships with processors, trading companies and others to build global demand for U.S. dairy products.  

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