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For years, the WMMB has been getting millions of dollars from dairy farmers in our state from a mandatory check-off program used to promote dairy products. They spend millions of dollars on advertisements aimed at increasing consumer consumption of fluid milk.

However, despite their efforts, and our hard-earned money, they have largely failed! Their failure was clearly evident when they began running ads in agricultural newspapers aimed at convincing us, as producers, that they were doing a good job with our money. They then began promoting cheese consumption, that has largely increased due to its use in fast foods such as pizza, as well as the increased production of specialty cheeses.

The role our check-off dollars has made in that increased consumption is highly questionable, and most likely very limited.The question is: If a beverage company would have hired the WMMB to promote their product, and received the same returns on their dollars as we do, would their contract be renewed? I think not!

Perhaps it's time for the WMMB to consider spending some of our $50 million to furnish every school-age child with free milk. Maybe it is time for them to stop promoting the consumption of dairy products in school using coloring pages, and actually cover the costs of food for poor children. Cover the cost homeless children incur when they take an extra milk at lunch because they are hungry.

Indeed, why not use our monies to make EVERY dairy product used in public schools free? Given our surplus, there is no reason this can't and shouldn't happen. What better way to promote our products? Feed the most vulnerable among us — children — and increase the likelihood that they consume our products for a lifetime.

Time for the WMMB to make a REAL and measurable difference. If you agree, contact your WMMB representative, or a member of their board of directors.

Larry and Betty Dahl

Deerfield, WI

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