DMI Leaders Host Year-End News Conference, Audio Available Now

December 17, 2020 – Today, leaders of Dairy Management Incorporated hosted their annual year-ending news conference call featuring DMI CEO Tom Gallagher, President Barb O’Brien and Pennsylvania dairy farmer and DMI Chair Marilyn Hershey. The three checkoff leaders will provide a review of 2020 and a look ahead to 2021…


2020 YTD U.S. dairy exports summary (courtesy of the U.S. Dairy Export Council)

The U.S. dairy industry is on its way to a record year for export volume. Data through the first 10 months suggest the industry is on track to ship more than 2 million tons of milk solids in a single year for the first time. That kind of growth is the result of an industry willing to invest in growing markets and able to adapt to the unforeseen challenges that regularly arise. USDEC activities to build demand, open markets and facilitate trade support those efforts. Funding for The Next 5% plan to increase the volume and value of U.S. dairy exports have been integral to our activities. When year-end export data is tallied by the government in the coming weeks, we project it will show that the milk from one out of six tankers leaving American farms ends up in U.S. dairy products and ingredients sold in other countries. COVID-19 was the latest in a series of challenges in recent years, including ongoing trade tensions with China and the renegotiation of NAFTA. Yet, from 2016-2020, U.S. exports grew significantly. U.S. dairy export volume (milk solids equivalent) over the first 10 months of 2020 was up by 344,003 MT over January-October 2016—a 24% increase. U.S. export value over the same period was up $1.6 billion, a gain of 41%. 

More data can be found here:

Consumer shifts during COVID-19

According to research conducted by Kearney Consulting in April:

  • 50 percent of consumers say COVID-19 has made them more aware of the environment
  • 58 percent of Americans believe we should respond to climate change with the same urgency as we have responded to COVID-19

Starbucks and Nestle NZI Commitments

DMI and Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy President Barb O’Brien referenced strong commitments from Nestlé and Starbucks to the Net Zero Initiative. Details of those announcements can be found here if you need more information:

National Dairy Council Full-Fat Research Summary

Dairy farmers have been funding research led by National Dairy Council on the role of whole milk dairy foods and wellness for over a decade. In fact, around 70 studies have been published, adding to the growing body of evidence indicating that consuming dairy foods, regardless of fat content, as part of healthy eating patterns is not linked with risk of heart disease or type 2 diabetes. The paradigm shift to more fat flexibility in the dairy group is already happening in the real world as demonstrated through the many actions of consumers and thought leaders:

  • Whole milk has increased its volume share of milk. In 2020, whole milk holds 41% share, the largest of any fat level.
  • Major quick service restaurants are offering flexibility, too, with whole milk, cheeses, yogurts and, in some cases, butter.
  • Individual health and wellness professionals, hospitals and health authorities are starting to embrace fat flexibility for dairy foods such as Joslin Diabetes Center, the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Australian Heart Foundation.
  • While the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report recommended decreasing added sugars from 10% to 6% of daily calories it DID NOT recommend decreasing saturated fat, which stayed at 10% of daily calories.

Additional resources:

About Dairy Management Inc.

Dairy Management Inc.™ (DMI) is funded by America’s 35,000 dairy farmers, as well as dairy importers. Created to help increase sales and demand for dairy products, DMI and its related organizations work to increase demand for dairy through research, education and innovation, and to maintain confidence in dairy foods, farms and businesses. DMI manages National Dairy Council and the American Dairy Association, and founded the U.S. Dairy Export Council, and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. Learn more online at

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.