Thanks to the “Buy California” program, students in Turlock, Calif., high schools will soon have milk vending machines in their schools.

The “Buy California” program is administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The grant for the project at the Turlock schools is one of 51 projects statewide that received funding under the $7 million competitive grants program.

The milk-vending project is a collaborative effort between Western United Dairymen, Yosemite Farm Credit Association, California School Food Services Association, California Milk Advisory Board, Turlock Future Farmers of America chapter, and Foster Dairy Farms.

“We are taking the first step toward ensuring that our children receive the nutritional benefits of milk,” said Turlock dairy producer Margo Souza. “We are confident that by making milk more enticing with attractive packaging and a variety of flavors we will begin to win the battle and turn the tide in this important battle to improve our children’s health.”

This is a way for dairy producers to employ innovative marketing techniques and help build demand in this critical age group. National studies have shown the success of milk-vending machines in schools and supporters are hoping to see the same results locally and then to duplicate the project in other school districts across the state.

Western United Dairymen