Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/18/2011
The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation has launched a new campaign to allow dairy producers to easily contribute money towards its programming efforts. The 'Two Cents for Tomorrow' program seeks to raise at least $2 million each year to help bolster the industry through producer-driven education programs. The campaign invites dairy farm owners from across the nation to contribute up to two-cents per hundredweight of milk from their farms in a voluntary check-off type program that can be automatically deducted from their milk checks each month.
Foundation Board Chair Deb Reinhart announced the initiative during the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin's annual meeting this week in Madison. The PDPF is a separate, charitable fund-raising arm started by PDPW in 2002 to focus on long-term education projects that give producers and industry supporters the opportunity to give back to their profession.
Reinhart said the campaign began earlier this year and already has the support of all the producer leaders who serve on the boards of PDPW and PDPF, which is about 20 farms.
"We are directing the funds toward projects that we believe raise the bar for producer professionalism," Reinhart said. "We believe we are building something that will last for future generations, and this is an easy way to allow producers to get involved."
Reinhart says it will take about 400,000 cows to generate the foundation's goal of $2 million dollars. Wisconsin currently has about 1.26 million cows milking in the state. She stressed, however, that the since the foundation belongs to the entire dairy industry, it is not being treated as a Wisconsin-only initiative.
Over the past several years, the foundation has already funded programs like the PDPW Youth Leadership Derby, Mentor Program, and the National Dairy Animal Well-Being Initiative. In addition, the group initiated a competitive grant program to surface new ideas, resulting in grants being awarded for producer education programs in Maryland and North Carolina.
Reinhart says interested farmers can contact the the PDPW to make arrangements if they would like to participate. All proceed that go to the campaign are tax-deductible. More information is available at www.dairyfoundation.org.
Dairy Foundation Aims to Raise Millions Two-Cents at a Time