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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.”


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To sponsor a block of episodes of The Dairy Download, contact IDFA’s Melissa Lembke at

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About The Dairy Download

The International Dairy Foods Association and Blimling and Associates are partnering to produce “The Dairy Download,” a new podcast for anyone who follows the twists and turns of the U.S. dairy industry. Witty, fast-moving and stacked with dynamic guests, the podcast offers sharp insights in a neat package under 25 minutes. Blimling’s Phil Plourd and Kathleen Wolfley host each episode, leading listeners through a rundown of action in the CME markets and things to watch, while going in depth with guests on consumer, market and policy trends shaping dairy. Wonks, nerds, data hounds and tech evangelists are welcome. Listeners will get the perspectives of various industry experts who can unpack challenging issues in fun and interesting ways. Learn more about the podcast at

Episodes 1-4 of "The Dairy Download" are sponsored by Stanpac, which has been manufacturing milk and ice cream packaging for companies located throughout North America for more than 70 years.