Category Archives: dairy in oregon

We’ve Got You

Oregon’s dairy community loves what they do. They work hard every day caring for their land and animals, and providing your family with essential nutrition.

During this pandemic, food heroes including farmers, processors and grocers are working hard to get products to you, from farm to fridge. But don’t just take our word for it, here they are in a short video to tell you themselves.

While things have not been perfect, and this world looks extremely different than it did a few months ago, Oregon’s dairy community has rallied together to make sure everyone gets the food that they need, through your grocery stores, to your schools, and through Oregon’s food banks.

So whether you need essential nutrients found in dairy products, or just come good ol’ comfort food, dairy farm families across the state, like the Lancaster family, Heimerl kids, Wismer triplets, Krahn girls, processors Darigold and Tillamook Creamery, Darleen from Guernsey Dairy Mama and Derrick from TDF Honest Farming want you to know “we’ve got you covered.

Shannon Guirl Represents New Approach to Telling Dairy’s Story

With more than a decade of experience in video production and social media management, Shannon Guirl has been selected as the new Sr. Manager of Integrated Communications for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council (ODNC). In this newly created role, she will be responsible for reaching multiple audiences with engaging visual storytelling and content about Oregon’s dairy community.

Amidst an ever-changing media landscape, the competition for attention is constant. Combine that with the fact that many consumers are increasingly disconnected from agriculture and where their food comes from, and it becomes immediately evident why ODNC prioritized this new position.

“We always say dairy needs to do a better job of telling its story, from sustainable farming practices, to exceptional nutrition, to the economic benefits and beyond,” said Josh Thomas, Sr. Director of Communications for ODNC. “But it isn’t just about telling more stories, it’s about telling the right kinds of stories and in the right ways – and increasingly, that translates to visual storytelling on digital platforms.”

As a freelance editor in New York, Guirl worked on broadcast, cable and documentary productions for NBC, A&E, Discovery, CNN and Reuters among others. She also worked in corporate communications for UNICEF, TED Talks and Etsy. Most recently, Guirl owned and operated a lighting design studio in Portland specializing in making handcrafted lamps. She holds a degree from the University of Southern California, where she graduated from the School of Cinematic Arts.

“In addition to Shannon’s strong technical expertise in visual and digital communications, she brings creative vision and a natural enthusiasm to our team,” said Pete Kent, Executive Director for ODNC. “We’re excited that her work with ODNC will help us build understanding, trust and sales for dairy in new and engaging ways.”

Dairy Community Responding, Adjusting to COVID-19 Impacts

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has presented significant challenges to individuals, families and businesses worldwide. Our thoughts are with you and yours to stay safe and healthy as you continue to adjust your lifestyle.

The dairy community is also adjusting. While demand for milk and dairy products at retail has increased, the shutdown of schools and sudden disruption of the foodservice supply chain have caused ripple effects.

In some instances, if there is nowhere for the raw, unpasteurized milk to go, it must be disposed. This is a last resort when all other options are exhausted. If a farmer does have to dispose of the milk, it is responsibly discarded to ensure it does not enter rivers, streams or waterways. The last thing a dairy farmer wants to do is dump milk, and it takes a serious financial and emotional toll. Dairy Carrie and TDF Honest Farming have provided helpful explanations.

Oregon dairy farmers and processors are working tirelessly to provide healthy and nutritious foods, and they have been delivering food for retail sales, youth feeding programs and community food banks.

Dairy farmers in Oregon and nationally are supporting youth meal programs. These programs are open to all children ages 1 to 18 to ensure they are getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy. Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon maintains a list of these programs and you can donate to the national campaign called “For Schools’ Sake – Help Us Feed Our Nation’s Kids!” Oregon dairy processors are also working with the Oregon Food Bank to deliver donations to the people and places where they are needed.

Oregon’s dairy farm families and dairy processors thank you for your support during these challenging times. Your purchase of milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream and other dairy products makes a difference, and it is greatly appreciated. We’ll get through this together.

Counting Down Our Top 10 Stories in 2019

What do Girl Scouts, a former NFL player, ice cream, scholarships and pizza have in common? They all made this year’s top 10 list of our most popular stories on odncouncil.org. Join as we count down the top stories of 2019, and see if you can guess which one took the number one spot. You might be surprised.

The order of this list was determined by people like you who visited our website and viewed our blog posts throughout the year. Thank you!

Without further ado, get the drum roll ready, and here we go:

10

Virtual Tours Bring Dairy Farms to the Classroom

Dairy tours can be enlightening for students who have never set foot on a farm or seen a cow in person. Since there’s no way to get all students to a dairy, this program uses technology to bring the dairy to the classroom.

9

Going Rogue: Oregon Cheese Makes a Big Statement

It’s official: Oregon is home to the “best cheese in the world.” Rogue Creamery’s big win at the 2019 World Cheese Awards was a statement win, considering it was the first time an American cheese took top honors.

8

Girl Scouts Earn Dairy Patch at TMK Creamery

Girl Scouts from Oregon and SW Washington gathered at TMK Creamery in Canby in September to earn their Oregon Dairy Patch. And for many of the Girl Scouts, it was the first time they had seen a cow up close.

7

Food for Thought: Would You Eat What Cows Eat?

“Why do we give food to cows that could be used to feed people?” Tillamook dairy farmer Derrick Josi doesn’t just explain why that’s a bad idea, he shows you in an accompanying video.

6  

Free Money? Scholarships in Dairy and Agriculture

This just in: college is expensive. Ok, so that’s not exactly breaking news. Maybe that’s why this list of scholarships was so popular among parents of students who are pursuing degrees in dairy and agriculture.

5

Nine Easy Ways to Hack Your Pizza

You know those cheap little frozen pizzas you get from the store that would work better as a Frisbee than a pizza? Or a disappointing delivery that looks nothing like the picture in the ads? Upgrade it using these tips!

4

Milk to the Rescue: Addressing an Ongoing Need

Milk is one of the most requested but least available items in food banks across the country. This story was about an influx of milk from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Food Assistance Program.

3

Splish Splash If You Don’t Do the Math: The 2019 Milk Carton Boat Race

A popular Rose Festival tradition dating back to 1973, the Milk Carton Boat Race attracts fans of all ages. Kids, adults and teams race handmade boats whose buoyancy depends upon recycled milk jugs and cartons.

2

Anthony Newman Invites Kids to Enjoy Free Summer Meals

Sports broadcaster and former professional football player Anthony Newman helped get the word out about this important program. It helped kids get tasty, healthy lunches when school was out for the summer.

1

Crowdsourced Oregon Ice Cream Trail Showcases Top Shops

Who doesn’t like ice cream? The crowdsourced Oregon Ice Cream Trail churned up a lot of attention for people eager to get the scoop on what shops made the list. People are still nominating locations to add to the trail, so stay tuned!


There were a couple of candidates for honorable mention. Our story about volunteer firefighter Steve Aamodt from 2018 could have made the list for still going strong in 2019. And knowing that our most frequently searched term is “DASH Diet,” it came as no surprise that this story from way back in 2017 asking “Is DASH the Best Diet … Ever?” is still getting attention.

So there you have it. That concludes last year’s list, but now you can help us with the next one for 2020. What unanswered questions do you have? What would you like to see us cover? Just let us know!


RELATED LINK

Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council Story Archive

Virtual Tours Bring Dairy Farms to the Classroom

There’s a new way for classrooms to take field trips, thanks to technology. Instead of bringing kids to the farm, we’re bringing dairies to a school near you.

In schools nationwide, it isn’t always possible for students to take educational field trips due to time or funding constraints and transportation logistics. These field trips are missed among teachers and students alike, as they can play an integral part of the learning process. Field trips are also one of the best ways to learn about agriculture.

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“Field trips help students see, experience and learn about agriculture straight from the source. Students love the opportunity to experience something new, and teachers welcome the opportunity for a guest to share with their class,” says Jessica Jansen, Executive Director for Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation.

Thanks to technology, there is a new way to learn about agriculture without ever having to board a school bus. It’s as simple as connecting via a smartphone and laptop for a virtual tour.

Recently, the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council partnered with Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom to host a virtual field trip at Rickreall Dairy. “It is incredibly important in my industry to educate students about what we do on a dairy farm,” says Louie Kazemier, owner of Rickreall Dairy, who also hosts traditional field trips every spring for more than 1,500 people yearly. “It gives students an opportunity to learn about where their food comes from, and also encourages them to think about career opportunities in agriculture.”

Agriculture in the Classroom, a nationwide educational program, is designed to help students develop an awareness and understanding that agriculture is the source of our food, clothing, shelter and other essentials. “At Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom we are passionate about connecting academic concepts to agricultural topics, and virtual farm field trips are a great way to do just that,” says Jansen. “We’re providing students the opportunity to witness new and exciting topics while showing them how this connects to what they are learning in the classroom.”

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For a dairy virtual tour, teachers sign up though the Agriculture in the Classroom website. A limited number of classrooms can sign up, and the first tour was booked in less than 24 hours. A week prior to the tour, the classroom receives a sensory box to explore items that they will view during the tour. For dairy farming, they focus on items that students can touch and smell like alfalfa, grain, and ear tags.

There are opportunities to learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) though virtual tours. Whether it’s the math of converting pounds of milk into gallons, or the science of animal nutrition, STEM learning opportunities are abundant on a dairy farm.

“Through a field trip we provide students and educators context and relevancy with examples of why it’s important to know math, science and other content areas. The math alone on a dairy farm is extensive and helping students see how important it is and it being used is priceless for students,” says Jansen.

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The tours are filmed live using Zoom videoconferencing, but there are other platforms that could be used as well. “We recently brought 500 3rd through 5th graders through our barns in a little under an hour just by using Zoom,” says Kazemier, “and not only do they get to hear me explain what they are seeing on the screen, but they also get to ask their own questions in real-time.”

“One of my goals at the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council is to make it as easy as possible for dairy farmers to share their farms with students,” says Stacy Foster, Industry Relations and Communications Manager at ODNC. “Dairy farmers are incredibly busy. Virtual tours provide an opportunity for us to reach across the state of Oregon to hundreds of students in only one hour.”

Kazemier also appreciates that virtual tours can educate beyond traditional field trips. “There are places on a dairy farm that we would never go with students due to concerns of liability, biosecurity and cleanliness. With the virtual tour, we can literally give classrooms a “backstage pass” to our facility. They get to walk where the cows walk, and get up close and personal with our animals,” says Louie Kazemier.

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“While virtual farm field trips shouldn’t be a replacement for all farm field trips, it’s a great way to reach students who might not ever have the opportunity for a field trip,” says Jansen. Agriculture in the Classroom has plans to continue the program, with dairy and other agriculture sectors. “We’ll be planning two more dairy field trips, a series of two ranch-related tours this spring and a few crop-related experiences. Interested teachers can sign up for updates on our website.”

RELATED LINKS:

Virtual Farm Field Trip at Rickreall Dairy 

Calf Barn Virtual Field Trip at Rickreall Dairy

Going Rogue: Oregon Cheese Makes a Big Statement

Type the words “American cheese” into an online search engine, and the images that pop up typically appear more utilitarian than artisanal or gourmet. Perhaps that’s one reason why it came as a shock to some around the globe that an American cheese defied convention and brought home the title of “best in the world” at the 2019 World Cheese Awards for the first time in history. It was a statement win.

Based in Southern Oregon, Rogue Creamery proved what many Oregonians and cheese aficionados already knew – Oregon creameries make some truly extraordinary cheese. At the awards held in Bergamo, Italy, Rogue River Blue beat out more than 3,800 cheeses from 42 countries. After a photo finish with an Italian Parmigiano Reggiano, Oregon officially became home to the World Champion.

According to Rogue, the winning cheese embodies their signature terroir with flavors of sweet pine, wild ripened berries, hazelnuts, morels and pears:

“Rogue River Blue is an organic, cave-aged blue cheese that is wrapped in Syrah grape leaves that are soaked in pear spirits. It is made exclusively with milk from Rogue Creamery’s certified organic dairy farm in Grants Pass, where the cows graze on pastures bordering the Rogue River. A seasonal product, Rogue River Blue is only made for a few months each year beginning on the autumnal equinox, when cooler temperatures bring renewed growth to the pastures and our cow’s milk becomes richer and higher in butterfat.”

Since the big announcement on October 18, people have been taking note. From Martha Stewart to renowned authors, international journalists, chefs, foodies and even fellow cheesemakers – all have been singing Rogue’s praises, as stores are quickly selling out. Many Oregonians are expressing pride in the recognition, including U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, who had some fun with this Tweet:

In addition to Rogue’s top honors, TMK Creamery of Canby brought home a Silver Medal for their Garlic Dill Cheddar Curds, and Tillamook earned a Bronze Medal for their one-year aged White Cheddar. These award-winners and many more creameries are listed on the Oregon Cheese Guild’s Oregon Cheese and Food Trail. While nobody knows where the best cheese in the world will come from in 2020, there are plenty of worthy candidates that make a case for a repeat performance from Oregon.

Of course, great tasting cheese starts with high-quality milk, and Oregon is consistently ranked toward the top in the nation. Oregon’s 124,000 cows and 200 dairy farm families produce roughly 2.6 billion pounds of milk annually (more than 302 million gallons). Oregonians love their milk so much, it is literally the official beverage of the State of Oregon.

Oregon’s dairy industry is a vital economic engine for communities statewide, with an estimated impact of $2.7 billion. Dairy is Oregon’s fourth largest commodity by farm revenue after only cattle, greenhouse and nursery products, and hay. Further, dairy farms create a ripple effect in both the agricultural economy and the economic well-being of rural communities, supporting 12,222 jobs.


RELATED LINKS:

Rogue River Blue Wins World’s BEST cheese!
Oregon Cheese Guild, October 18

USA cheese named ‘Best in the World’
USDEC, October 21

For the first time ever, a US cheese is named best in the world
CNN Travel, November 1

The World’s Best Cheese? It’s Blue and Comes From Oregon
The New York Times, November 1

American cheese named world’s best for first time, here’s how much it costs
Fox Business, November 2

France in shock over Oregon cheese winning ‘Best in the World’ honor
Statesman Journal, November 4

Want to taste the Oregon-made, recently named ‘Best Cheese in the World’? Better hurry.
Statesman Journal, November 6 

This may be the moment American cheese, true American cheese, has been waiting for
Washington Post, November 6

Free Money? Scholarships in Dairy and Agriculture

Did you hear the one about the banker who was arrested for embezzling $100,000 to pay for his daughter’s college education? The judge asked him, “Where were you going to get the rest of the money?”

Jokes aside, the cost of higher education is no laughing matter, and every little bit of financial aid can make a big difference. Luckily, help is available if you know where to look … and you just found the right place.

If you’re interested in studying dairy or agriculture, you may be eligible to apply for one or more of these scholarships:

Dairy

Agriculture

Related

The college or university you attend may also have scholarships reserved for students in your specific field of study, so it is definitely worth checking. If you know of others we missed that should be added to this list, please let us know and we’ll add them.

In the end, choosing a career in agriculture should prove to be a very wise decision. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are 60,000 job openings in agriculture annually, and only 35,000 graduates to fill them.


RELATED LINK:

Who’s Who: Careers in Food

Crowdsourced Oregon Ice Cream Trail Showcases Top Shops

How do you create a new food trail that showcases the top ice cream shops across an entire state? Simple. Ask the experts! And that’s just what the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council did when they crowdsourced the new Oregon Ice Cream Trail.

Crowdsourcing is the process of enlisting the services of a large number of people, typically via the Internet. In this case, it was ice cream aficionados. Starting with an assortment of 10 landmark ice cream shops, people were encouraged to submit and vote for their favorite shops in Oregon. The result? You can now choose your own ice cream adventure to include more than 50 stops clustered within seven geographic regions.

“Building this trail reaffirmed something we already knew – people are passionate about their ice cream,” said Josh Thomas, Senior Director of Communications for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. “Thanks to the hundreds of votes we received, this trail showcases the top shops and some of the best ice cream you’ll find anywhere in the world.”

The Oregon Ice Cream Trail includes all varieties of scoop and soft serve ice cream, custard, gelato and even frozen yogurt – all made in Oregon. All stops are featured on a free, downloadable map at OregonIceCreamTrail.com.

So that’s the scoop on the Oregon Ice Cream Trail. If you’re still looking for a good excuse to hit the trail, National Ice Cream Cone Day is coming up on September 22.


RELATED:

You Can Help Build the New Oregon Ice Cream Trail

VOTING CLOSED. CLICK HERE FOR FINAL TRAIL MAP AND SHOP LIST

Here’s the scoop on 10 great ways to celebrate National Ice Cream Day and July Ice Cream Month! Today we’re unveiling the first stops on the new Oregon Ice Cream Trail.

These are 10 quintessential destinations for acquiring frozen happiness (aka ice cream) by the cone or cup. As it stands, the trail includes:

PORTLAND

Cloud City Ice Cream
4525 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland     cloudcityicecream.com
Flavors based on family recipes, made on the premise that ice cream makes an ordinary day into something special.

Fifty Licks
2021 SE Clinton Street #101, Portland    fifty-licks.com
You may have seen the truck around town. The owner loves food science and making ice cream from scratch with local ingredients.

Ruby Jewel Mississippi Scoop Shop
3713 N Mississippi Ave, Portland     rubyjewel.com
Known for distinctly original, artisanal ice cream sandwiches, since 2004. This location was their first shop, which opened in 2010.

Salt & Straw
2035 NE Alberta St., Portland     saltandstraw.com
Characterized by inventive flavors, this small batch shop began in 2011 as a food cart not far from this first brick and mortar location.

WILLAMETTE VALLEY

K & R Drive Inn
201 John Long Rd, Oakland     krdriveinn.com
Located just off of I-5 at Rice Hill, and a favorite pit stop for Umpqua ice cream on road trips since 1970.

Prince Puckler’s Ice Cream     www.princepucklers.com
1605 E 19th Ave, Eugene
With more than 40 flavors, this gourmet ice cream has been made with quality local ingredients since 1975.

Serendipity
502 NE Third Street, McMinnville     serendipityicecream.com
This shop gives job experience and training for adults with developmental disabilities, in addition to great ice cream and a player piano.

CENTRAL OREGON

Goody’s
57100 Beaver Dr., Sunriver     goodyschocolates.com
The ice cream counter at this store continues to be a visitors’ favorite during busy vacation times and a locals tradition year round.

Sno Cap
1053 NW 6th St., Redmond
Originally Peden’s Ice Cream back in the 60s, Sno Cap is an institution and a locals favorite serving Eberhard’s Ice Cream.

OREGON COAST

Tillamook Creamery
4165 Highway 101 North, Tillamook     tillamook.com
With more than 1.3 million guests annually, this is consistently one of Oregon’s top tourist attractions, and many go straight for the ice cream.

And as a bonus seasonal favorite, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include the Oregon Dairy Women’s Red Barn at the Oregon State Fair in Salem (open August 23 to September 2).

VOTING CLOSED. CLICK HERE FOR FINAL TRAIL MAP AND SHOP LIST


RELATED:

How We Celebrated June Dairy Month

Since 1937, June has been designated as a special month to celebrate milk and all things dairy. National Dairy Month is an annual tradition that recognizes the contributions the dairy industry has made to health and happiness around the world.

Oregon has a lot to celebrate, and what better way to kick things off than World Milk Day? After all, milk is Oregon’s official state beverage. On every day of June, we served up some cheesy, dairy-themed jokes on social media. As an example, this was one of the crowd favorites: Why was the dairy farmer the slowest player on the baseball field? You’d be slow too if your jersey weighed 1,000 pounds!

Cloverdale dairy farmer Ron Hurliman served as Grand Marshal of the June Dairy Parade in Tillamook

June Dairy Parade Grand Marshal Ron Hurliman (right), with wife Vonnie. Courtesy of Tillamook Headlight Herald.

There were several dairy events and observances throughout the month as well. Cloverdale dairy farmer Ron Hurliman served as Grand Marshal of the June Dairy Parade in Tillamook. With more than 120 entries, the parade is a centerpiece of the June Dairy Festival alongside the Tillamook County YMCA Milk Run and the Tillamook County Rodeo. You can read all about the festivities in this special insert from the Tillamook Headlight Herald. Capital Press also had this special section for June Dairy Month with several great stories.

On Father’s Day, we shared a poetic tribute to dairy dads called “Until the Cows Come Home,” and on the first day of summer we shared a delicious recipe for Yogurt and Dill Smashed Potatoes. Our partner Food Hero made milk the featured food of the month and shared this great handout.

We sponsored the Milk Carton Boat Race in partnership with the Royal Rosarians, the Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassadors, Darigold and many others. A Rose Festival tradition since 1973, the family-friendly event features kids, adults and teams racing across a pond on boats that float atop empty milk cartons and milk jugs. KGW television’s Drew Carney highlighted the event on his Sunrise show and KATU’s Katherine Kisiel was an event announcer.

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At the national level, a running theme throughout the month involved dairy’s contributions to fighting food insecurity and child hunger. The “Real Love Convoy” brought Undeniably Dairy branded trucks to New York, Washington D.C., Detroit and Cleveland for media opportunities and public events featuring dairy. This included an appearance with spokeswoman Laila Ali and dairy farmer Katie Dotterer-Pyle on Good Morning America. Locally, we helped promote summer meals programs in Oregon with this special video featuring Oregon’s Fuel Up to Play 60 spokesperson Anthony Newman.

While National Dairy Month may be over, we’ll continue to celebrate dairy year round. Oh, and did we mention that July is National Ice Cream Month? Stay tuned for a fun announcement on National Ice Cream Day (July 21)!

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