Volunteers needed for milk study

More people are choosing to drink raw milk these days, and Ohio State University researchers are hoping to find out why.

They are looking for people who live on farms who drink either raw or pasteurized milk to take part in a study. Volunteers will be asked to meet with researchers to complete a written survey, and take part in a 1.5-hour-long focus group session. They will be paid $25 for their time and trouble.

“We truly do not know very much about how farmers make the choice to drink raw or pasteurized milk — there’s just nothing in the literature,” said Lydia Medeiros, a scientist with the university’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and Ohio State University Extension, and a professor of human nutrition in the College of Education and Human Ecology. The study of farm families is part of a broader project on raw milk consumption in Ohio.

A total of six focus groups are planned at three locations:

Meigs County Extension Office, 117 E. Memorial Drive, Pomeroy, Ohio, on April 15 and April 18 at 1 p.m.

Coshocton County Extension Office, 724 South 7th St., Coshocton, Ohio, on April 26 and April 28 at 1 p.m.

The Meeting House, 1423 Station Drive, Wooster, Ohio (OARDC campus), on April 19 and April 21 at 1:30 p.m.

Medeiros, the study’s co-principal investigator, is working with colleague Jeff LeJeune, also with OSU Extension and an associate professor with OARDC’s Food Animal Health Research Program. LeJeune is principal investigator of the study.

They are seeking participants who live on any size or type of farm; dairy, livestock, grain, vegetable producing or any combination. The criteria for the study are farmers who drink their own raw milk produced on site or farmers who drink pasteurized milk. The purpose of the research is to determine if there are differences in reasoning for milk choices between  raw milk consumers and pasteurized milk farm-family consumers. Participants must be 18 years or older.

To participate in the study or to learn more, contact Lydia Medeiros at 614-292-2699 or Janet Buffer at 614-247-8388.

The study is funded by and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Integrated Food Safety Initiative.

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