Editor's note: On a recent trip to the Southern Forage and Pasture Crop Improvement Conference (SPFCIC), Progressive Forage Grower Editor Lynn Olsen had the opportunity to learn more about the dairy, beef and forage industries in Puerto Rico. Click here to read Darren Olsen's article to learn more about Puerto Rico's dairy industry. As you might imagine, there are some challenges with milk production on an island in a hot, humid tropical environment, but there are also some challenges for the dairy industry as a whole in getting the population to consume milk and milk products.

Olsen lynn
Lynn Olsen was the former editor of Progressive Forage. She now works as the circulation team lea...

The production quota for the island is 15.3 million quarts per 14 days, current average production levels are 11 million quarts per 14 days, but the fresh milk market is only consuming 9 million quarts per 14 days – only 6.63 ounces per day per Puerto Rican.

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For dairy production to be sustainable into the future, there is a need to encourage citizens to drink more milk and use more milk products. As part of the industry's "Four for the Decade" goals, they would like to see consumption increase to 16 ounces per day per person. To do that, they are working to promote milk and the dairy industry in the commonwealth.

Goodie bag

As part of the conference, attendees were able to tour a dairy farm (watch for a related article in an upcoming issue of Progressive Dairyman ). At the end of the tour, each participant was given a "goodie bag" of items being used at various fairs and other events to help promote milk.


Similar to the "Got Milk?" campaign on the mainland, the "leche fresca" ("fresh milk") items, pictured at right, are handed out in schools and during various island celebrations. Recipes are also provided to encourage consumers to include milk-related products in their home-cooked meals.

When I travel, I usually try to bring home a souvenir of some kind for our kids and thought they would probably love this little stash of dairy items. What I didn't know at the time is that the cups were even more fun than we realized!

Leche Fresca cup

As you can see in the related photo below right, they change from the blue color to purple when they are filled with cold milk or other cold liquid, and then turn back to blue again as the milk is consumed or the temperature warms up!

Hopefully with promotions like this, especially ones that target the younger population, the Puerto Rican dairy industry can continue to thrive and be sustainable for many years to come. PD

Photos courtesy of FG Editor Lynn Olsen.

Want to know more about the agriculture industry in Puerto Rico? Click here to read a related article about a beef farm on the Progressive Cattleman website and click here to read a related article about a hay/silage production farm at Progressive Forage Grower .


Lynn Olsen
Progressive Forage Grower magazine


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