Raw milk bill fails in California Assembly Ag Committee

Legislation that would have significantly relaxed current regulations by allowing the exchange, sharing and direct sale of raw milk at “home dairy farms” failed to get a motion to move out of the California Assembly Agriculture Committee. AB 2505, introduced by Assemblymember Mariko Yamadao (D-Davis), would have allowed farms with three cows or less to sell or give away fresh-from-the-udder, unpasteurized milk without complying with some of the standards that apply to larger dairies. Testimony in opposition came from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Health Officers Association of California, and numerous other organizations.

Mary McGonigle-Martin of Murrieta described her then-six-year-old son’s “odyssey through hell” after drinking raw milk and becoming hospitalized at a cost of $550,000. She faulted Yamada’s bill for failing to adequately guard against the spread of pathogens.

”Just because you are milking three cows doesn’t mean a small operation cannot contaminate the raw milk,” McGonigle-Martin said.

Source: Western United Dairymen


AMPI Young Cooperators elect officers

Dustin Dobberstein of New Richland, Minn., is the 2014 Young Cooperator (YC) chairman for Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI). Fellow YCs elected the dairy farmer during the spring annual meeting of the Midwest milk marketing cooperative.

Dobberstein will be working with YC steering committee members to plan and host events throughout the year. Other members of the committee are: past chairpersons, Aaron and Jessica Radermacher, Brooten, Minn.; vice chairpersons, Jacob and Sarah Enter, Nicollet, Minn.; secretaries, John and Renee Kotek, Bangor, Wis.; and members-at-large, Derek and Marcie Peterson, Black River Falls, Wis.

The YC program provides educational and leadership opportunities to AMPI members age 40 and under. Looking ahead, AMPI YCs will be traveling to the Twin Cities on June 23-24 for the annual YC summer tour. The event will feature tours of the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota and AMPI’s independent milk testing lab, DQCI.


Hilmar Cheese awarded LEED® Green Building Platinum Certification

Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc. announced its new headquarters and Innovation Center in Hilmar, Calif., was awarded LEED® Platinum certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

The Hilmar facility is the first privately-funded LEED Platinum certified building in Merced County, and one of just a few in the Central Valley.

“As far as we know, it is also the first dairy industry LEED Platinum certified building in the United States,” commented David Ahlem, Hilmar Cheese Company Vice President and General Manager - Cheese.

LEED certification is based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. The headquarters and Innovation Center achieved LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use, as well as incorporation of a variety of other sustainable strategies.

The Innovation Center, with the latest pilot plant and food application equipment, is focused on delivering greater service and knowledge to U.S. and global customers. Food scientists use the newest equipment and technology to help food companies find success incorporating dairy into healthy foods and beverages.

Hilmar Cheese Company Inc., founded in 1984, is a privately held corporation. More than 1,200 employees process high-quality cheese and whey ingredients from its facilities in California and Texas. Visit www.hilmarcheese.com


Quality, variety key for pizza category

U.S. consumers eat pizza about 3.4 times a month, according to Technomic’s latest Pizza Consumer Trend Report. In addition to traditional pizza formats, today's expanded retail options and the emergence of the trendy fast-casual pizza segment are giving consumers plenty of ways to satisfy their pizza cravings.

Yet consumers indicated they want to see even more variety on pizza menus. They're calling for more toppings and a wider assortment of offerings—such as pizza by the slice and portable pizza snacks they can eat on the go. Additionally, quality and freshness are factoring more strongly into today's pizza purchasing decisions.

For pizza operators to stay competitive and add market share, they'll have to strengthen the quality perception by promoting freshness and customization opportunities, while giving customers a more interesting range of toppings, crusts and other options that emphasize variety.

Source: Technomic is a consulting and research firm serving the food industry.


Land O'Lakes, Feeding America team up on ‘Pin A Meal, Give A Meal’

The “Pin A Meal, Give A Meal” campaign is in full swing, running through May 31. In partnership with Feeding America® – the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization – the Land O'Lakes Foundation and Land O'Lakes Dairy Foods team are delivering easy recipe ideas and hunger relief, all in one.

For every Land O'Lakes recipe pinned or repinned on Pinterest, the Land O'Lakes Foundation donates $1 (up to $300,000) to Feeding America®. This commitment equals a donation of 2.7 million meals, with $1 helping to provide 9 meals.

The Land O'Lakes Pin A Meal, Give A Meal Pinterest board, Facebook page, Twitter page and website will feature recipes visitors can share on Pinterest. The pins and repins will be tracked, and the donation will be made directly to Feeding America ®.

Those who don't use Pinterest can donate to Feeding America® by visiting www.feedingamerica.org/landolakes.



Emmi Roth USA to sponsor ‘Taste of the Nation’ events

Emmi Roth USA, a leading provider of specialty cheeses, will be a national partner and the official specialty cheese sponsor at four of Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation® events.

Taste of the Nation events bring together the country’s best chefs, sommeliers and mixologists to raise money for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign. Held in more than 30 cities across the nation, guests of Taste of the Nation can sip and sample gourmet creations from each city’s premier culinary talent and participate in unique culinary, travel and lifestyle auctions – all while raising funds to make No Kid Hungry a reality. Since 1988, Taste of the Nation has raised more than $85 million. Visit NoKidHungry.org.

In addition to sponsoring the events, Emmi Roth USA will donate $1 to the No Kid Hungry campaign for each Roth® Signature Cheese Board Kit sold in 2014. For more information on the Cheese Board Kit, visit www.emmirothfoodservice.com.


MDA launches ‘Powered by Dairy’ Pinterest contest

Pinterest users have a new reason to give their Pinterest accounts a workout. Midwest Dairy Association, which works on behalf of 9,100 dairy farm families across the Midwest, has launched the Powered by Dairy Pinterest Contest to provide healthy recipes and nutrition tips for fueling an active lifestyle. One lucky pinner will be randomly selected to win a $100 grocery store gift card, a mini-blender and a fitness-themed Team Dairy prize pack ($30 value). The contest is open to residents of Midwest Dairy’s 10-state area and runs through May 9.

To enter, pinners must fill out the Powered by Dairy Contest form, follow Midwest Dairy on Pinterest by clicking “Follow all” and re-pin a dairy recipe or dairy nutrition tip using the Powered by Dairy Pinterest board as inspiration.

During the contest, pinners will explore how dairy, including milk, cheese and yogurt, is a nutrient powerhouse and an essential means to build strong bodies.

For more information about the Powered by Dairy Pinterest Contest and to view official rules, visit http://tiny.cc/PoweredByDairy.

More delicious dairy recipes and Midwest dairy farm family stories are available at DairyMakesSense.com.


Velvet Ice Cream celebrating a century

Utica, Ohio-based ice cream manufacturer Velvet Ice Cream released four new flavors in honor of its 100th anniversary. Velvet’s new all-natural flavors include: Original Vanilla, Salted Chocolate Fudge, Vanilla Chocolate Duo and Bourbon Pecan.

The company’s annual Ice Cream Festival  will be held May 24-26, with its Ye Olde Mill open to the public May 1-Oct. 31. Visit www.VelvetIceCream.com.