Jonesville dairy farmer aims to educate public

Lindsay CravenStaff Writer

January 22, 2013

Zach Myers, the owner of Myers Dairy, Inc. in Jonesville, is standing at the forefront of a campaign meant to bring consumers back to the origins of their food.

The Dedicated to Dairy Campaign was created by the Southeast United Dairy Industry board of directors and launched in November 2012. Myers saw a potential in the program and decided to get involved.

“We’re trying to connect the consumer back to where their food came from,” Myers said. “The main function of it is trying to give the consumer a resource and also to put a face with whatever products they are going into the store to purchase.”

Myers said that the United States is an average of three generations away from a farm, meaning that the average person may have had a connection to a farm three generations ago whereas today they don’t.

“As that spreads out, then the knowledge of where your food comes from becomes less,” Myers said. “You have more people who think that their food comes from the grocery store and they don’t understand how it gets to the grocery store.”

Myers said that consumers have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to farming in the states, and he is doing his part to try to dispel some of these notions.

“There’s a lot of concern for animal welfare in our country, so this is a way for us to get out there and tell how well we treat our animals and how well we care for them to make sure their needs are met,” Myers said. “The better we take care of our cows the more milk they will produce. Good animal welfare translates to better production, which will hopefully lead to higher profit too.”

The Dedicated to Dairy Campaign has taken dairy farmers out into various areas of the community. Myers and other farmers in the southeast have ventured into their community’s schools, civic organizations and festivals to share what they do on a daily basis with their potential consumers.

Myers said that professional camera crews came out to all of the Dedicated To Dairy farmer’s farms and shot video of what they do at their farm and what farming means to them.

These videos were posted on the Dedicated To Dairy website. The site features first hand stories from the farmers about their life on the farm. The information focuses on economic impact, environmental practices and animal husbandry.

“The main thing is for the consumer to know with all that’s going on with environmental issues and everything we are dedicated to doing our best for our employees, our farms and also the environment and our communities,” Myers said. “We’re trying to educate the consumers so that they know that dairy farmers are doing everything they can to supply a nutritious, wholesome dairy product as well as protecting the health of our animals and the health of our environment.”

Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at lcraven@civitasmedia.com.