Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

Meet your dairy consumer: Laura Fiochetta

PD Editor Emily Caldwell Published on 18 May 2012


HOW WE MET: Laura and I actually haven’t met in person, but we’ve been exchanging emails for about three months.



I volunteered to help with alumni communications and fundraising for Alpha Zeta Fraternity, a co-ed, professional agricultural group that I was involved in during my time at Penn State University.

With more than a decade of marketing/communications experience, Laura seemed like someone who could give an expert’s opinion on how the dairy industry is performing in the area of public relations.


Laura Fiochetta, 40
State College, Pennsylvania
Alumni Relations Manager Affinity Connection

When was the last time you visited a farm?
In 2010 during a trip to a pumpkin patch.


What dairy products do you most frequently buy?
With three little kids, every weekday is a dairy festival of milk and cheese. We buy skim milk, 2% milk, chocolate milk, American cheese, provolone cheese, yogurt and creamer.

How many gallons of milk do you buy every month?
About 10 gallons.

What is a good deal for a gallon of milk?
$4.25? Actually, I’m not really sure I know. It’s such a mandatory part of our diet that I don’t even think about it.

What is your favorite dairy brand?
We get our milk direct from Dan the Milkman from Vale Dairy.

If you were one-on-one with a dairy farmer, what questions would you ask him or her?
Beyond getting the milk out of the cow, the rest of the production process is a bit of a mystery. I’d like to know how farmers ensure the milk is safe/clean to consume.

What word would you use to describe the work of a dairy farmer?
Early risers, hard workers, blessed with a simple life


Positive industry image?
Small-town America with images of delivery men bringing milk to families. I also think about how children benefit from consuming dairy products.

Negative industry image?
Hormones and fat content in some dairy products.

Do you think the dairy industry has been effective at educating consumers about dairy products and dairy farming?
The dairy industry could better educate us on the effects of hormones and healthy consumption levels in both children and adults. Education should happen at an early age and particularly with new parents. My kids drink milk because I drank milk as a kid. We are conditioned as youths to develop those habits.

Who do you trust for information about your food?
I just look at the back of the label and assume the FDA takes care of the rest. PD


How many cows are there in the average herd in Pennsylvania?
Laura: 50
Correct answer: 74

FACT: Households with children spend more than three times as much on milk in a year compared to households without children.

Sources: DMI Milk Barriers and Opportunity Study, 2008; IRISymphony Syndicate Panel, 52 Weeks ending Dec.25, 2011


Emily Caldwell
Progressive Dairyman