Treat Milk Right, and They Will Drink It!

In 2004 Delta, Utah, middle-school student Katharine Nye wrote a letter to Dairy Herd Management Editor, Thomas Quaife. She was frustrated over the state of milk in her school. �Milk in my school is very nasty,� she wrote. Many of her classmates were drinking water instead because it was kept cooler and tasted better than milk in paperboard cartons.

�I�m asking for your help to help convince school boards (especially mine) that it is OK to have yummy, COLD, healthy milk in schools,� she wrote.

Mr. Quaife provided some contact information where Katharine could go for help.

In a follow-up note sent in late 2005, Katharine described the tremendous success she has had with her effort.

Her note read: � . . . I started a petition in my school, and it has worked wonderfully . . . Many of my classmates are excited at the prospect of better and yummier milk to drink. I got a pilot test project started in a school near me, and I am happy to say that our school foods director has been very excited about it. Everyone is drinking more and more milk in that school, and the director called today (Nov. 10) and said that milk in plastic resealable containers would soon be in every school in my county.�

In the process, Katharine has met with people at both the local and national level. Among them: Rick Naczi, senior vice president of school-channel development for Dairy Management Inc., the organization that manages the national dairy checkoff. (Naczi recalls from the visit that Katharine is �energetic and enthusiastic� and shows �a real passion and commitment to get students the milk THEY want in schools.�)

Katharine says this has been a �wonderful experience� and it has taught her things that will help her in other areas of life.

Certainly, if she applies the same persistence to other projects that she has to school milk, there is no telling how far she will go. She definitely will be a mover-and-shaker someday in her chosen career field.

All of us in the dairy industry can gain inspiration from Katharine�s example. Rather than lamenting the slide of milk sales on a per-capita basis, we can do something positive to change it for the better.

Adapted from Dairy Herd Management, December 2005, p. 5 ©