97 Milk began as a totally grassroots effort when Nelson Troutman spray-painted the first bales at his Richland farm….



Over at Ag Moos, Troutman’s “baleboard” origin story late last year is covered in more detail, but suffice to say the Lebanon County farmer saw a clear response: “People say to me that they did not know any milk is 97% fat-free, much less that the whole milk is 97% fat-free!”

Troutman posing with two of his baleboards in a provided photo.

Now Troutman has teamed up with R&J Dairy Consulting to amplify his message further. We caught up with Lancaster County-based marketing manager Jackie Behr to learn more.

One of the group’s first steps was securing the domain, 97Milk.com, and setting up a Facebook presence.

Their position is simple: Local milk is good for you, as well as being good for the community. With about 15 collaborators working on the project, both the dairy farming and ag business community is represented in the campaign that views itself as a singular advocate of local dairy farmers.

As the website moniker references, the number one idea being reinforced is that “whole” milk isn’t 100% fat as many assume. Rather, it is a term of art that refers to a fat amount of about 3.25%. Behr said they were surprised to find that many people had no idea of this simple fact.

The group is also trying to combat negative news that exists about milk, as well as the growing consumer trend of milk alternatives, most notably almond milk.

“Just to know the facts on milk is the sole thing,” said Behr. “Challenge people to start looking at the ingredients in the milk alternative.”

“Milk is a powerhouse food,” she added. “It doesn’t need to be altered.”

If you want to join the campaign, 97 Milk is recruiting other ag business professionals to help with marketing.

Behr believes that community support will be needed to secure the long-term future of dairy farming in Lebanon County and neighboring areas.

With dairy so central to the county’s identity, the group hopes that one simple step you’ll take is selecting local milk at the grocery store.

There’s actually a tool available at Where’s My Milk From that can help you identify the source farm of a given container.

P.S. Want to make your own milk baleboard? Ag Moos has you covered here.

Find more information at 97Milk.com.


LebTown membership required to comment.

Already a member? Login here

Join the Conversation


Kindly keep your comments brief and respectful. We will remove comments that do not abide by these simple rules.