MADISON, Wis. — In a marketplace increasingly crowded by plant-based imitation dairy products, the results of a new survey show that customers are confused about whether those products are indeed dairy foods and whether they carry the same nutritional value. The research evaluated three plant-based foods that mimic dairy cheese to understand if the packaging and descriptions are confusing. The survey, conducted by Ravel, was commissioned by Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA), Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, based in Wisconsin. The results were announced on Jan. 23 at the Dairy Strong Conference. Read more here.
Are retailers destroying the dairy industry?
By Laurie Fischer
Squeezed on virtually every front — multi-front trade wars, eroding international markets, government shutdowns, etc. — the entire dairy sector is feeling the vice tighten even more from a direction they never anticipated — the retail sector. According to the National Dairy Products Sales Report, the December Class III cheese price was 27.4 cents (or 16.6 percent) lower than December 2017. However, the U.S. retail average price for cheddar cheese in December, according to CPI data, was 41 cents (or 8.3 percent) higher than December 2017. Read more here.
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has launched the Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Lab, a state-of-the-art training facility that will allow medical professionals to learn and sharpen their skills. The Milwaukee-based, 2,000-square-foot lab marks a milestone for Dairy Cares, a non-profit organization that has raised more than $1 million for Children’s in the eight years since its inception. Read more here.
FVTC’s combine simulator brings harvest to life
By Jason Fischer
Fox Valley Technical College Practice makes perfect, at least near perfect, in an industry that assumes uncontrollable factors like weather and related seasonal uncertainties. A new combine tractor simulator at Fox Valley Technical College, donned in unmistakable John Deere green and yellow, is a virtual ride through any farm field and field condition. The simulation gives agriculture students from five different programs at FVTC another high-tech learning tool. Housed in the Service Motor Company Agriculture Center on the Appleton, Wis., campus, the technology creates an authentic experience of being inside a tractor combine, making this type of practice far from boring. Read more here.