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Virginia dairy farmers launch new website during National Dairy Month

Virginia dairy farmers launch new website during National Dairy Month

RICHMOND—Virginia dairy farmers are working to reignite the connection between consumers and farmers with a revamped national website.

The new, now owned and operated by Virginia dairy farmers, addresses growing consumer curiosity about where their dairy products originate.

“For the longest time, everyone had a connection to their farm—whether a grandparent, aunt or uncle—you always knew where your food came from,” said Eric Paulson, executive secretary of the Virginia State Dairymen’s Association.

Nowadays, most consumers have trouble tracing their dairy products past the grocery store, he added.

“So instead of it just being a generic commodity at the store, we hope to give people a little bit more understanding of where that product comes from,” he explained.

Like the original website, the platform allows consumers to use the container’s printed code and search the state and plant where that dairy product was processed. The new website furthers the conversation by incorporating information about how dairy products get from farm to refrigerator, as well as industry information, nutritional facts and dairy recipes. Even those who are lactose intolerant can find easy, lactose-free recipes on the site.

Launched during June to mark National Dairy Month, the site also aims to raise overall awareness of dairy’s versatility and health benefits. Since 1939, the annual observation has encouraged families to make milk their beverage of choice based on its value, nutritional qualities and wholesomeness.

The “miracle food” offers essential protein, calcium, minerals and electrolytes, Paulson noted.

“This is the month we recognize all our dairy farm families nationally and all the great products that come from the dairy industry,” he said. Paulson noted a growing versatility in Virginia’s dairy industry, with more farm families producing ice cream, artisanal-style cheeses, yogurts and butter.

“We’re really happy that the new website is being run by dairy farm families here in Virginia—where the dairy industry got its start in this country,” Paulson said.

Today, Virginia is home to 377 dairy farms and about 70,000 dairy cows. In 2022, the total amount of milk produced was 165 million gallons, with Rockingham, Pittsylvania and Augusta counties leading in milk production, according to recent U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Even if a dairy item is produced out of state, consumers shouldn’t be dissuaded from buying it, Paulson noted.

“Milk moves around,” he explained. “No matter where your milk comes from, you can always count on it being safe, affordable and nutritious.”

Moving forward, the association hopes to highlight more information about the various dairy farms that supply each plant with milk.

Media: Contact Paulson at 540-491-4471.