Several dairy industry companies and groups are pleased to announce the success of the inaugural year of the Movember Dairy initiative.
In its first year, the industry campaign succeeded in its goal of bringing awareness of men's health issues to the dairy industry through the mustache-themed, global men's health organization Movember.
"Support that the campaign received in its first year has been phenomenal," says Amy Throndsen, North American sales manager for DCC Waterbeds and captain of team Movember Dairy.
Movember Dairy supporters raised more than $4,450 in funds for the Movember Foundation's prostate cancer research and men's health programs, contributing to the $106 million raised worldwide for the cause.
Movember Dairy participation took many other forms including more than 850 supporters on Facebook, generous media coverage from dairy industry publications, and hundreds, if not thousands, of people talking about important men's health issues like prostate cancer screenings and prevention programs.
The campaign was kicked off at World Dairy Expo in Madison, with a "Toast to the Moustache" reception.
Knowing the fact that one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime and that early detection results in high cure rates, industry partners joined Movember in the fight for men's health. Experiences and encouragement were shared amongst the industry through the Movember Dairy Facebook and Twitter presence, producer discussions on health experiences and Movember Dairy parties at agricultural companies throughout the country.
Producers who shared their experiences served as encouragement to other dairy producers who traditionally may focus more on the health of their herds than of themselves.
"Like many other dairy producers across the country, I became involved with Movember Dairy because of my own family experiences with prostate cancer," says Ed Peck, president of Filament Marketing and member of Movember Dairy.
Peck added, "My Uncle Louie was my mentor and the role model American Dairy Farmer, and he lost his life after a battle with prostate cancer. We can never know if there is something more that could have been done to prevent the severity of his illness, but we do know that early diagnosis can save lives; maybe not his, but maybe yours, or someone as important to you as he was to me."
Similar testimonials were shared by producers and industry members who grew mustaches to serve as conversation starters on the importance of men's health.
"Some of the guys had never worn facial hair, while others hadn't been clean shaven in years, so we had many opportunities to explain the reason behind our mustaches to the people we work with every day," says David Heim, owner of Heim Dairy in Kansas, who participated in a Movember Dairy mustache growing contest with 10 dairy industry members across the country who documented their experiences at http://heimdairy.wordpress.com/.
Heim continued, "My grandfather Harold, the founder of our dairy, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and as a result regular checkups are a priority in our family. Our hope is that they will also become a priority for dairymen everywhere."
Plans are in place to continue the momentum for Movember Dairy in 2014. For more information on Movember Dairy or to learn how to become a member of the industry coalition in 2014, call 608-819-3628 and/or follow them at www.facebook.com/MoDairy.
Movember Dairy (www.facebook.com/MoDairy) is an initiative within the dairy industry that began in 2013 with the goal to bring awareness to men's health during the month of November. An industry network within the Movember Foundation's annual campaign, Movember Dairy was launched by a small-but-dedicated coalition within the dairy industry, focused on changing the face of men's health — one mustache at a time.