Dairy Done Right: Tillamook Honored Nationally for Community Impact
Contributions include fighting hunger, advocating for housing and supporting youth
Guided by the “Dairy Done Right” philosophy, Tillamook County Creamery Association has earned top awards for its cheese, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream and butter. Now the dairy farmer-owned cooperative has earned a national award for its commitment to the communities where Tillamook employees live and work.
Tillamook County Creamery Association
Outstanding Community Impact Award
Among the many reasons why Tillamook rose to the top of their category:
- Support for the Oregon Food Bank has included contributions of funds, food, a distribution truck, a food drive and research about food insecurity with the goal of eliminating hunger statewide.
- Funded a study on the root causes of the local housing shortage, and its gift of $75,000 allowed CARE to continue its mission of providing emergency aid to the homeless and those in crisis.
- Collaborated with the Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington on a dairy patch to educate young girls about STEM concepts, farms and food production.
- Committed $1.5 million to a new food innovation center to Oregon State University.
- As part of an employee-led volunteer program, 118 members of the company volunteered 1,200 hours within the first year.
“Tillamook exemplifies devotion to their community,” said Barbara O’Brien, president of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. “From working to find the root cause of food insecurity to improving housing access, they are addressing large-scale issues that impact the people and the planet.”
The Outstanding Community Impact Award was the only one given in that category nationally. The announcement was made on May 16 at a special ceremony outside of Chicago, Illinois, where it was accepted by Sarah Beaubien, Tillamook’s senior director of stewardship, alongside staff and board members. True to the spirit of the award, CEO Patrick Criteser was unable to receive the award because he was in the middle of a 300-mile bike ride to raise funds and awareness to help end childhood hunger.
As James Dillard, corporate and community relations manager at the Oregon Food Bank, said, “They are not giving away money just to improve their brand rating. They really are passionate about making a difference in Oregon.”
With Tillamook’s award, Oregon went back-to-back with U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards following last year’s “Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award” for Rickreall Dairy. Also of note for 2018 was Kroger’s win for “Outstanding Dairy Processing and Manufacturing Sustainability,” which includes Oregon’s own Swan Island Dairy.
To hear Sarah Beaubien’s acceptance speech at the award ceremony, watch the video below: