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California Milk Advisory Board Launches Mini-Documentary Series Profiling “Real California Dairy Families”

California Dairy Producers Debunk Misperceptions; Highlight Sustainability and Animal Comfort Practices

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., & MODESTO, Calif. – November 23, 2009 – If you ask a California dairy producer what it means to be one of 1,700 dairy families in the nation’s largest milk producing state you will hear a variety of answers but one unifying theme: Pride. Pride in the healthy, quality products they produce; pride in the way they care for their animals; pride in the dairying lifestyle; and pride in their commitment to California. This pride is evident in a new series of dairy family documentaries created by the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB).

To give consumers a clearer understanding of where dairy products come from and showcase the people who produce them, the CMAB developed 15 “mini-documentaries” profiling dairy families throughout the state. The series also includes two companion pieces – one highlighting sustainability practices and the other on cow comfort.

From 14-year-old Tyler Regli’s goal of becoming a fifth-generation dairy producer to Johan Bartelink’s love of hosting educational school tours and Bob Giacomini’s dream of turning his milk into farmstead cheese, these documentaries demonstrate the diversity behind the state’s dairy industry – an industry responsible for producing more than 41 billion pounds of milk and creating approximately 435,000 jobs each year.

“These documentaries will help consumers connect with the California dairy families that put the food on their tables and create a better understanding of the standards and practices in place on today’s modern dairy operations,” said CMAB’s Vice President of Advertising, Michael Freeman. “While the Happy Cows “Auditions” ad campaign continues to be our primary tool in driving awareness and purchase intent, these documentaries allow us to tell a deeper story and engage consumers in a way no 30-second ad could.”

Each documentary features an actual dairy family telling their story, in their own words. The unscripted videos have a cinematic tone to help viewers connect on a personal level with the families profiled. “You can’t watch these short films and not feel something very special and very real,” said Freeman. “Each one is ‘a day in the life’ and some are quite touching, dispelling the myth that California farms are run by cold, uncaring ‘corporations.’”

All 15 “Real California Dairy Families” vignettes, along with the “Cow Comfort” and “Sustainability” videos can be viewed online at RealCaliforniaMilk.com. The site currently receives more than 100,000 visitors each month.  

Dairy products made with California milk can be identified by the Real California Milk seal, which certifies that the products are made exclusively with milk produced on California dairy farms. California produces more butter, ice cream, yogurt and nonfat dry milk than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese, which is available nationally under the Real California Cheese seal.

Did you know?

  • California leads the nation in total milk production. In 2008, California produced a record 41.2 billion pounds of milk – one-fifth of the nation’s total production.
  • Currently, 40 percent of the total U.S. exports of dairy products are coming from California.
  • California is ranked first in the U.S. in the production of total milk, butter, ice cream, yogurt, nonfat dry milk, and whey protein concentrate. California is second in cheese production. (CDFA)

Contact: Jennifer Giambroni, California Milk Advisory Board; jgiambroni@cmab.net; (650) 871-6459 ext. 304