United Dairy Women on milk mission

Michelle Heavyside: Guest columnist

The second annual Milk Lover’s Ball hosted by the United Dairy Women (UDW) on Feb. 17 was a huge success!

More than 400 people attended and raised more than $10,000 to help assure the residents of three area children’s homes receive the recommended three servings of dairy products a day for the next year.

The UDW goal is to see that the childhood routine of consuming three servings of milk, cheese or yogurt each day carries over to healthy lives as adults.

UDW members promote agriculture and the agricultural industry, as it relates to dairy, through educational programs and by supporting charities that involve children and nutrition.

The UDW started a year and a half ago on a “milk mission,” realizing that milk is a luxury for some kids. In just a few weeks, we were able to raise enough money, with the help of Dairy Max, to support that home with dairy products for the next year.

It was then we realized we could do more. We now support all three area children’s homes — New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home, New Mexico Christian Children’s Home and Pippin Youth Ranch — with dairy products throughout the year.

The Milk Lover’s Ball also marked the first table auction for scholarship, raising $4,300 for higher education.

UDW is working with New Mexico State University and the Dairy Science Consortium to provide a scholarship to any student pursuing an education in dairy science.

Attendance at the Clovis Civic Center event included families and friends of the dairy industry from the immediate area and as far away as Hatch, Stephenville, Texas, and Raleigh, N.C.

In addition to Milk Lover’s Ball, UDW has donated more than $47,000 to the communities of Clovis and Portales this past year and half.

Upcoming events for UDW include:

• A memorial golf tournament to honor the lives of Doug and Debbie Idsinga. It’s set for April 21 at Chaparral Country Club. All proceeds will benefit the Roosevelt County Fair Grounds.

• The second annual DairyFest, June 30 at the Clovis Civic Center. That will help us celebrate June as national dairy month and say thank you to area communities for their continued support.

DairyFest is geared toward the entire family. Along with delicious dairy foods, there will be games, activities, educational booths and a live concert featuring local artist Allie Brooks opening for Lee Roy Parnell. Entry is $1 per person.

Michelle Heavyside is founder of United Dairy Women. Contact her at: