The Dairy Download

Sharp Market and Policy Insights from IDFA and Blimling and Associates

EPISODE 3 – “Walking a Tightrope” In Episode 3 of The Dairy Download, hosts Phil Plourd and Kathleen Wolfley examine how market upheaval is affecting parts of the dairy supply chain, from farmers to cheese processors. They talk with Kurt Epprecht, Vice President with Great Lakes Cheese Co., about lessons learned during the pandemic. “You asked me about what the bright spots were,” says Kurt in the episode, “and I think the industry is going to step up their risk management efforts going forward out of necessity.” Kurt also shares insights from his father, Hans Epprecht, and offers thoughts on how cheddar is becoming even more dominant among cheeses.

Next, Phil and Kathleen flex their ag econ chops in a discussion with guest John Newton, Chief Economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation, where John breaks down whether the dairy safety net is effective for farmers in 2020. John notes that the next Farm Bill will need to take a hard look at price supports and points out a possible connection between changes to the Federal Order system and record price swings in dairy markets. In the episode, John says, “Even though we’ve seen milk prices have gained some strength following COVID, not all of that money is making it back to the dairy farmer. I think that’s the challenge.”

EPISODE 2 - "Who's Got Milk?"

EPISODE 2 – “Who’s Got Milk?” In Episode 2, hosts Phil Plourd and Kathleen Wolfley answer the big question: Who’s Got Milk? They talk about how Disney layoffs and RV sales are connected to dairy markets. And, of course, they run down the CME dairy markets to give listeners the latest spot prices and futures.

The return of the iconic Got Milk? campaign brings MilkPEP CEO Yin Woon Rani to The Dairy Download. In the first commercial of relaunched campaign, Olympic gold medal swimmer Katie Ledecky paddles across a pool with a glass of chocolate milk on her head without spilling a drop—but in how many takes? Listen and learn how the new Got Milk? ads aim to appeal to families and kids during this new normal. Next, Phil and Kathleen talk with Michael Flood, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, about how demand for food from hungry and food insecure Angelenos is “through the roof” due COVID’s drag on the economy. Distribution of dairy products, says Flood, is up nearly ten-fold. Finally, Patti Montague, CEO of the School Nutrition Association, shares how the nation’s school meals professionals are using creative methods to get milk and other healthy foods to students.

EPISODE 1 - "Volatility"

EPISODE 1 – “Volatility”: In the premiere episode of The Dairy Download, hosts Phil Plourd and Kathleen Wolfley focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic has helped stir up unprecedented volatility, while exposing government’s invisible hand (or perhaps just it’s thumb, resting on the scales of the market) during the crisis. Joe Glauber, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute and former chief economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, breaks down the federal government’s intervention in food and commodities, and explores why the government currently favors direct payments and purchase programs over more traditional safety nets. Marin Bozic, an assistant professor in Dairy Foods Marketing Economics at the University of Minnesota, discusses price volatility, offering insights on possible structural solutions and risk management approaches.

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About “The Dairy Download” Podcast


A podcast series presented by the International Dairy Foods Association and Blimling and Associates. The Dairy Download is a 25-minute podcast hosted by Phil Plourd and Kathleen Noble Wolfley of Blimling and Associates that covers dairy market news and offers fresh guest commentary on the consumer and policy trends shaping dairy. Breezy and informative, The Dairy Download takes listeners through a top-line report on the CME dairy markets, and then dives into the headlines and trends shaping dairy production, consumption and marketing with industry experts, market analysts, and leaders from across food and beverage.

The Dairy Download is available wherever you get your podcasts.