Summary and Implications
Three dairy open houses as part of June Dairy Month events were conducted to provide the public the opportunity to experience and learn first-hand about the efforts made daily on modern dairies to achieve cow care, cow comfort and health, hygienic milking procedures, local cropping systems that provide quality feed for the dairy herd, manure management and land stewardship, respect for family and non-family workers, and overall quality and safety of milk and dairy products. These events were a product of industry partnerships. The three events reached 5000+ participants. Surveys performed at all 3 events showed many participants had trust in dairy farmers and the dairy industry prior to the event, but post tour surveys showed enhancement in their knowledge of modern dairy practices that assure animal health and comfort, product quality and safety, and environmental stewardship and preservation (with 100% of participants improving their views and trust in modern dairy farming). A survey at one site regarding dairy product use (536 respondents) showed 65% eating the recommended 3 dairy servings/ day with 93% > 2 servings, and the three major factors influencing dairy purchase decisions being taste (2X greater than any other answer), nutritional content, and price (both equally weighted)
Iowa State University
Timms, Leo L.; Breuer, Ryan; Bentley, Jenn; and Kregel, Megan
"June Dairy Month Open Houses: Improving Consumer Understanding of Modern Animal Agriculture,"
Animal Industry Report:
AS 662, ASL R3088.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/ans_air/vol662/iss1/49