American Dairy Farms: Endless Transformations of Marketing and Management Strategies

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  • Topic: Milk, Dairy, Dairy farming
  • Pages : 11 (4129 words )
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  • Published : November 13, 2011
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American Dairy Farms: Endless Transformations of
Marketing and Management Strategies
Jason L Ambrosino

Executive Summary
Dairy farms have been a symbol of Americana since its inception, but dairy farmers, particularly local dairy farmers, have faced an uphill battle since the industrial revolution. A brief history of dairy farming reveals the transformations of an industry that was once a backyard chore, and how it has become the mega business that it is today. While over regulation in both Federal and State levels had reduced the importance of marketing within the dairy industry for over half of the twentieth century, the elimination of government subsidy increases and the entry of new milk substitute products has forced the industry to seriously focus on marketing strategies. Cooperative giants within the dairy industry were responsible for one of the most memorable marketing campaigns, which is still widely publicized today: “Got Milk.” As the cooperatives consolidated into larger mega-cooperatives, to include Dairy Farms of America, the advertising and marketing expertise has led to substantial profits for distributors DEAN and BORDEN farms. Local dairy farmers are at a significant disadvantage in the modern milk age, but if they embrace the niche markets created by the larger factory farms and big business dairy they can maximize their profits and survive regardless of the low ball prices processors continue to demand.

American Dairy Farms: Endless Transformations of
Marketing and Management Strategies
Nothing provides a more nostalgic memory than American dairy farming, from the yesteryear of the family cow, to the modern factory farms responsible for the milk in the cartons, dairy has been a vital importance in American culture, economy, and even politics. As Americans began to specialize and the industrial revolution came into its full force, the family cow began to disappear and dairy, as a cash crop, became ever more prominent. As farms began to specialize in the production of dairy, specifically in the production of milk, local marketing became an important aspect in operating a successful dairy business, most often accompanied with delivery in glass bottles with a friendly man in a white suit. As competition among local operators increased, the price of the everyday staple plummeted, eventually leading to a thinning of local dairy farms but also leading to a coalition of farmers, responsible for many of the common slogans and advertisements such as “Got Milk” that have become an important part of Americana.

While the dairy farmers’ coalition remains, most local farmers have given way to larger factory farms either through partnership or buyout; which has also led to a change of both business operational and marketing strategy. A look into the history of American Dairy farming and the corresponding transformations it has undergone also provides a cross cut of many marketing strategies and techniques that have undergone their own transformations to best accomplish their primary goal: Sell more milk. Milk has long been the hallmark product of dairy farmers, but just as most local farms have transformed into larger factory farms, capable of producing more product at significantly cheaper costs, some dairy farms have focused on differentiation and specialization either in the sense of producing an organic product, capable of obtaining top market dollar, or have adjusted their manufacturing process to specialize in the production of alternative dairy products such as cheeses and yogurts, creating new American markets and capturing higher profits where none previously existed. The History of American Dairy Farming

It is no surprise that dairy farming has been a staple of society for thousands of years, and as stated before, in most cases a family may have owned only a single cow...
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