Milk Flip Cup Raises Money for Feeding America
Celebrating Dairy Month Turns into Fun and a Chance to Make a Difference
To help celebrate Dairy Month in June, a group of women dairy farmers decided to come together, raise money, and create the first ever Milk Flip Cup Tournament.
Diamond V, who helped sponsor and promote the event, sat down and talked with Tara Vander Dussen/@NewMexico Milkmaid, and Jess Peters/@SeeJessFarm, two of the tournament creators. We asked them about how they came up with the idea, the goal of the games, and much more.
Grab yourself a glass of milk, sit back, relax, and find out more!
How did you come up with the idea of Milk Flip Cup?
Tara: Jess Peters and I – along with Hannah Vander Poel/@IDDairyGirl, Bec Shaw/@_BecShaww, and Rebecca Hilby/@FarmingWithTheHilbys – all came together to create the Milk Flip Cup Tournament. In fact, Hannah originally reached out and said we should do something fun for June Dairy Month. I had done a Milk Chug Challenge online last September that was successful, and we knew we wanted to do something similar that was engaging and creative. Becca eventually said, “What about Milk Flip Cup?” The whole thing stemmed and grew from there!
After the original idea came about, we reached out to 16 farmers (not just dairy) from across the country. We wanted to get as many different fields and backgrounds involved as possible. Our initial thought was to host it on Instagram Live, which we ended up doing and I’m glad we did. Every Saturday farmers would face off LIVE on Instagram for a Milk Flip Cup showdown! Seeing people interact live, you can’t fake that interface. It was a lot more personal and got people engaged. We also decided to make it a tournament so we could have matches and different opponents battling one another. We did the tournament through June and July, raising money each week for Feeding America.
We weren’t sure how it was going to turn out, but in the end, it was a fun and successful event!
How long have you been doing the tournament?
Tara: This is the first year we’ve done the Milk Flip Cup Tournament and are hoping/planning on making it an annual tradition. We will probably keep the tournaments on Saturdays but challenge people to play each other throughout the week. Stay tuned for next year! Perhaps ESPN could cover it.
What was the ultimate goal of Milk Flip Cup?
Tara: The ultimate goal of Milk Flip Cup was to help people in need of food, especially since there has been an increase demand by almost 70%. Leading up to June there had also been a lot of negative news and articles about farmers dumping milk. However, the media was having a hard time portraying that this wasn’t something they wanted to do. So, we thought the Milk Flip Cup Tournament would be a great way to highlight that farmers care and can collaborate across industries. Ultimately, we wanted to create a fun event that brought people together as well as give back at the same time.
Why did you decide to go with Feeding America?
Tara: We ended up going with Feeding American because they are such an incredible organization and a reputable charity. Not only do they show their support throughout the country, they help people nationwide. We also knew there was a growing number of people in need of food, and Feeding America is a hunger relief organization with a nationwide network of food banks, soup kitchens, and shelters. We couldn’t think of a better way to give back.
What was your favorite part of the tournament?
Tara: I would have to say my favorite part of the tournament was the trash talking. I also love a good underdog. California Dairy Dad/@CADairyDad was a great example of this. I’m also thankful that in the Ag industry we have such amazing people who jumped on board, promoted it, and made these videos all on their own. We also had a ton of non-agriculture people reach out saying they loved the tournament and thought it was hilarious and an incredible idea. It was great to see the comradery. The other aspect of this tournament that I liked was how everyone across the country came together to participate, raise money, and have fun.
Jess: One of my favorite parts of the tournament was how all these people put their faith in us and jumped onboard. It worked out well, there was a great sense of comradery, and it was awesome getting to collaborate with other farmers and people in agriculture. I received so many messages each week from people telling me they were looking forward to tuning in in on Saturday to watch grown adults play Milk Flip Cup.
It was also great to see companies like Diamond V reach out and want to get involved. They ended up matching donations up to $10,000! We were thankful for them promoting and donating towards the tournament as it really elevated our challenge to the next level!
My final favorite thing about the tournament was how so many people had so many different strategies. Some would use 2% milk because it’s thinner so they thought it would be easier to drink. Some even made their milk room temperature. I think the worst strategy I saw was one person drank coffee flavored milk but put it in the freezer before they drank it. Let’s just say it was hard for them to chug a slushy.
Was the Milk Flip Cup Tournament a Success:
Tara: When all was said and done, what began as a grassroots campaign really took off. The Instagram farmer accounts that participated in the tournament had over 850,000 followers and our videos had over 300,000 views. Diamond V, First Defense Calf Health, Key Apparel, Dekalb, and DriDuck came on board matching donations, providing apparel, donating proceeds from sales, and donating prizes. The best part is, almost $13,000 was raised for Feeding America! We wanted to raise awareness for the Ag industry, have some fun, get the attention of consumers, and put something positive out there for people to enjoy at a time when there didn’t seem to be a lot of good news in the world. Absolutely the tournament was a success. And we can’t wait to do it again!
Still not sure what Milk Flip Cup is? Check out Jess Peters’ Instagram video explaining the game.