Dairy Checkoff Leaders Approve Marketing Budget

Andy VanceDairy Checkoff, Promotion

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The leaders of the dairy checkoff at the state, regional, and national levels have approved the Unified Marketing Plan budget for 2006, a $158.1 million strategy that this years focuses less on fluid milk consumption and more on dairy product demand enhancement. The National Dairy Promotion and Research Board, along with state and regional promotion organizations have signed off on a program that leverages producer dollars with partners like restaurant chains and retail outlets. Naturally, the most successful programs of the checkoff were continued, including school milk marketing, 3-A-Day of Dairy, and consumer and health professional image campaigns. One of the more controversial decisions, however, was the authorization of a $6 million research project to develop methodologies for estimating air emissions from US dairy farms. The Board insists that the one-time allocation of funds will not affect 2006 dairy promotion programs.