In the community - DFM

Love local. Eat local.

Dairy Farmers of Manitoba is proud to support the local restaurants we all love.


Local restaurants have been there for us, now we’re here for them.

Local restaurants are small businesses that have helped shape the communities they serve. From birthdays and anniversaries to date-nights and game-nights, local restaurants have always been there for us – and now it’s time for all of us to be there for them.

To show our support, we’re helping to promote them! Working with each restaurant, we’re creating custom advertisements and donating media space so more people can learn about these amazing local food hangouts.

And remember to keep an eye on our social media because we’re teaming up with local influencers to host exciting gift card giveaways so Manitobans can eat at their favourite local restaurants or try something new!

It’s a plan that’s as simple as it is delicious. So let’s all come to the table, and make a difference to the local restaurants that make Manitoba so special. 


Milk Helps Make You!

We’re proud to announce our new campaign: Milk Helps Make You.

We know that milk contains calcium and protein that are key for growth, development, and energy. Our campaign explores the many different ways milk helps people achieve greatness in whatever they’re doing!

We’re also excited to announce the launch of our new social channels, it’s the perfect way for you to stay in the loop! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for fun content and tasty recipes!


It’s showtime!

’Twas the week before Christmas when all you could hear, were children from across Manitoba sharing some holiday cheer. From carols and poems to holiday light displays and special guests, the Spirit of the Holidays Kids Concert has everything that makes Manitoba a magical place this time of year. So we hope you enjoy the show as much as we enjoyed making it for you. And happy holidays everyone!



Golf may appear to be a group of people relaxing and having a good time, and you’re not wrong. However, if you see Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM) at its annual charity golf tournament, the golfers are actually working hard for the community.

For the last 23 years, the annual event raises money for the University of Manitoba’s (U of M) dairy science bursary fund and the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba (CHFM). In 2019, DFM gave $6,000 to three post-secondary students and another $37,000 to CHFM. As of 2020, the fun-filled golf day has truly helped with the U of M and CHFM’s initiatives.

DFM’s board chair David Wiens participates each year and says that what began as a small gathering in the late ‘90s is now a 300-plus person affair that includes an evening banquet for farmers, sponsors, and representatives from the CHFM and U of M.

Photo courtesy of Dairy Farmers of Manitoba

“Our approach has been to give back to the community,” says Wiens, whose dairy farm is located near Grunthal. “Through the Foundation our farmers have been able to raise money for much needed, state-of-the-art equipment, which helps the Foundation increase the hospitals capacity/ability to run important and innovative programs.”

The Texas Scramble style sees a foursome begin on each of the course’s holes. Throughout the day there are light-hearted challenges such as hitting a ball off a milk jug or teeing off in a pair of hockey gloves. There is also the lucrative hole-in-one challenge, which is still awaiting its first lucky winner.

And while the tournament is postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19, that did not prevent DFM to step up and make outright donations to the U of M and CHFM. For Wiens, the decision to maintain support was simple.

“We can be responsible citizens on the one hand and also continue to make our contributions to what we consider important organizations,” he says. “Both need this kind of funding with or without the golf tournament. It becomes an important source of revenue for them.”

Speaking for the CHFM, campaign and development manager Courtney Nodrick says despite the lack of duffing this year, she is still so proud to be a community partner with DFM and its farmer members.

“It’s only because of generous members of the community – like DFM – who dedicate their time and efforts into fundraising events like their annual golf tournament, that we can continue to care for sick and injured children,” she says. “Everyone at DFM is helping transform health of sick children in the community because of this event.”

Photo courtesy of Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba

The funds raised from the golf tournament have helped the CHFM contribute to pediatric research, capital projects, renovation of current areas, and the relocation of clinics into newer space.

For Nodrick, appreciation is an understatement when she explains how DFM helps to better the community and the 130,000 children who access the Children’s Hospital each year, even through a friendly game of golf.

“Words don’t even really begin to describe how meaningful that is,” she says. “The dairy farmers in Manitoba see that they are having a true impact and changing children’s lives and changing their health for the better. It’s about these kids.”


Helping families in need

Keren Taylor-Hughes remembers the first time she saw the milk delivery truck roll in. It was January 2018 and her first week as the new CEO of Winnipeg Harvest. Taylor-Hughes wondered why over 6,000 litres of milk was being unloaded into Winnipeg Harvest’s refrigerators. She was witnessing the routine deliveries that have taken place for almost 30 years.

In fact, Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM) donates over 300,000 litres of milk to Winnipeg Harvest each year. The milk is processed and packaged into one-litre cartons of milk, and also used to make cheese. Winnipeg Harvest distributes the milk and cheese along with its other food donations to 300 community food banks and agencies in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba. “Every child aged 12 and under gets one litre of milk every two weeks,” confirms Taylor-Hughes.

Last year, Winnipeg Harvest provided food support to more than 70,000 people a month, including 25,000 children. Taylor-Hughes said that without dairy farmers in our province, hungry Manitobans would have little access to fresh nutritious milk and cheese unless Winnipeg Harvest purchased it for distribution.  

“I am so impressed with Dairy Farmers of Manitoba’s long-standing support of Winnipeg Harvest.” says Taylor-Hughes. “Their commitment to nourishing vulnerable Manitobans has never wavered.”

In 1992, Louis Balcaen, a dairy farmer from La Broquerie, 69 km southeast of Winnipeg, saw families in his community struggling to provide nutritious food for their kids. Farming is ultimately about feeding people and Balcaen knew there was something he and other dairy farmers could do to help.

At the time Balcaen was chair of Dairy Farmers of Manitoba. He worked with Parmalat (now Lactalis) and the bulk milk hauling companies to create a program that would donate over 14,000 litres of milk per month in one-litre cartons to Winnipeg Harvest.

Then in 2009, Bothwell Cheese joined the effort and started turning a portion of that donation into cheese for Winnipeg Harvest.

The program has truly become an effort of neighbour helping neighbour. DFM administers the program – with dairy farmers donating the milk, bulk milk hauling companies transporting the milk at no cost, and Lactalis and Bothwell Cheese donating their processing costs.

“We have the ability to move the milk to Winnipeg Harvest,” explains David Wiens, current chair of DFM. “Winnipeg Harvest’s food network is the best way to get our donation to those who need it.”

Those long-standing relationships help buffer against uncertain times such as the COVID-19 pandemic. During COVID-19, Winnipeg Harvest expected a 30 per cent increase in clients using food banks throughout the province and prepared a record 1,000 emergency food hampers a day.

During this time, Wiens explained DFM is donating an additional 60,000 litres of milk monthly, which Bothwell Cheese is processing into approximately 6,000 kilograms of cheese for Winnipeg Harvest each month.

 “We feel privileged to partner with Winnipeg Harvest to help families in need,” Wiens said.


Photos in story supplied by Winnipeg Harvest

Photo in header image by Sherri Mangin

Stone Soup competition

It’s difficult to imagine, but there are children today in Manitoba who continue to experience hunger. Thankfully, one group continues to work tirelessly to make that reality a thing of the past.

The Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba (CNCM) is a mainstay in the province with a visible community presence. However, of all the work it performs nothing is tastier than its annual Stone Soup competition.

For CNCM, the feeling of respect is a well-paved two-way street.

Now into its eighth year, this friendly foodie challenge puts 12 different restaurants, including TecVoc High School’s culinary program, against one another as the community decides whose cuisine reigns supreme. This year’s Stone Soup challenge raised more than $20,000, a new record. The best part of the amicable competition is that every single dollar will be used to feed students. This year, CNCM reports more than 32,000 Manitoba students will benefit through 287 unique breakfast, lunch, and snack programs.

This year, Rudy’s Eat and Drink earned bragging rights as the judge’s top pick for its chicken corn chowder soup while the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Catering Services was named the people’s choice winner with its candied bacon and potato chowder with Bothwell cheddar cheese.

The program is one that Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM) strongly believes in because, at the heart of it, students are the real winners.

“In order for kids to be successful academically, they need to be fed,” explains Pat Bugera Krawchuk, DFM’s nutrition programs manager. “If they’re not well-nourished, they’re not ready to learn.”

Each year, DFM contributes its human resources and sponsorship investment to continue to draw attention to the positive work done by CNCM and initiatives such as Stone Soup.

“We felt this is something we can do to give back,” she says. “It felt like a really good fit to be able to work together with CNCM.”

For CNCM, the feeling of respect is a well-paved two-way street.

“Having the Dairy Farmers [of Manitoba’s] support is tremendous,” says Clara Birnie, a registered dietitian and program dietitian at CNCM. “They’re such an important ally in this cause. It’s not only Stone Soup—they’re always an important partner in all the work that we do.”

Birnie and the rest of the CNCM staff also promote the consumption of whole foods, as opposed to convenience-style food and there’s not much that is more whole than milk, a key reason the provincial organization is proud to continue on with such support from DFM.

“Milk is one of those foods that’s part of Canada’s Food Guide as a recommendation to support a healthy lifestyle,” says Birnie.

For Bugera Krawchuk, the CNCM represents a group that prioritizes healthy children and families, which will continue to be an easy goal for DFM to support.

“We’re really pleased with the work that they do and we’re proud to be supporters any way we can,” she says.


Photos supplied by Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba