HOW WE MET: I met Rachel a few years ago through mutual friends when I was looking for someone to watch a little person very near and dear to me. I see Rachel a few days every week.
While she knows what I do for a living, the majority of the time our conversations are about kids and family.
Knowing she’s a mom trying to do right for her kids and those entrusted to her each day, I thought she’d be a good example of a primary household shopper from small-town, middle America.
Rachel Hering, 41
At-home daycare provider/mother of three
Last time you visited a farm?
Halloween. We went to a pumpkin patch and could see the animals from afar.
How close have you ever been to a cow?
I’ve actually touched a cow and milked a cow, too. Just a squirt, though. We did it for [my son’s] field trip.
What dairy products do you most frequently buy?
Cheese, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, ice cream.
Why do you consume dairy products?
It’s a good source of protein and calcium.
How many gallons do you buy in a month?
I go through a gallon of milk every two days, so 15 per month.
What is a good deal for a gallon of milk?
How much is too much to pay for a gallon of milk?
What is your favorite or most frequent time/place to consume dairy products?
Any time. We always have cheese and yogurt – that is a staple of my kids’ diet.
Favorite dairy brand
I always buy Dean’s cottage cheese and Daisy sour cream. For milk, I buy the store brand or whatever’s cheapest.
If one-on-one with a dairy farmer, what question would you ask him or her?
I would ask about what they feed the cows, particularly to see if they are giving the cows hormones.
What word would you use to describe the work of a dairy farmer?
Hard-working. You’ve got to be a dedicated person for that job.
Positive industry image
I think that it is healthy. I believe that they’ve got a clean process. I feel better having that than having something like canned chili. It’s more of a healthy product – I know it’s not pumped with chemicals. And I like farmers, they are nice people.
Negative industry image
The little buzz of all these hormones being pumped into all of our food.
Who do you trust for information about your food?
Someone who’s in that field. Family and friends. I read books. I take a whole bunch of information and decipher. But, no, I do not trust the Food and Drug Administration. PD
FACT: Almost 80 percent of adults agree that dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt are essential for adult nutrition.
Source: DMI Dairy Segmentation Survey, 2011
How many cows are there in the average Wisconsin herd?
Correct answer: 108