Living on a dairy farm in rural West Greenwich, Rhode Island, I have always loved being around agriculture and promoting the dairy industry. After finishing up my internship with Cargill in Missouri this summer, I had the opportunity, alongside my sister Melissa, to work for my home state’s local milk co-op, the Rhode Island Dairy Farms Cooperative, promoting their milk, butter, and most importantly their cheese! Just this past year Rhody Fresh has introduced a new, German style, soft cheese: Butterkase. The cheese is made right in Rhode Island at Narragansett Creamery from the milk of the 7 dairy farms in the cooperative.
From Wednesday to Sunday during the Washington County Fair in Richmond, Rhode Island, my sister and I gave out samples of the Rhody Fresh Butterkase Cheese as well as various promotional “Got Milk?” and Rhody Fresh items. Fan favorites across the board were the milk mustache stickers, in addition to the face-in-hole cardboard cutout of a cow. This was the second year Rhody Fresh sponsored the mooing contest, where little kids in different age groups had to give their best imitation of a cow’s moo. My sister Melissa, a well known local Red & White Holstein breeder, and I all volunteered as judges. All participants received a half pint of Rhody Fresh milk, a Rhody Fresh keychain, and a “Got Milk?” smiley face pin. Rhody Fresh also sponsored the daily milking contest where children who have never milked an animal before had the opportunity to milk a cow, and try to get the most milk in their bottle before time runs out.
The best part for me was being able to spread the knowledge about Rhody Fresh and buying local. Being such a small state, Rhode Islanders have a strong desire and ability to buy local and know the farmer who produces their food. According to the Ohio State Farm Bureau, the average person is 3 generations removed from the farm. I believe that giving the consumer the ability to put a face with a product can help bridge that gap.
My father has been dairy farming for more than 30 years, which may not seem that long, but in Rhode Island, where each year there are fewer and fewer farms, it seems like a milestone. Having the opportunity to work for Rhody Fresh is something I love because dairy is one of my passions. I always volunteer when I have the chance so I can share my passion with others.
For more information on Rhody Fresh and the Rhode Island Dairy Farms Cooperative visit http://www.rhodyfresh.com