Jessica Rose Spangler
HOOVERSVILLE, Pa. — Dorothy Naugle is a natural dairy promoter. For nearly 30 years, Naugle has been the force behind the scenes of Allied Milk Producers’ Cooperative, Inc.
“There’s a lot of things she was into. She had that knack for coming up with little marketing tidbits, stuff that would fit into things like radio ads,” commented Dave Myers, president of Allied Milk Producers’ Cooperative, Inc.
For 27 years, Dorothy Naugle was the marketing and promotions coordinator for Allied Milk Producers’ Cooperative, Inc., a non-profit group headquartered in Johnstown, Pa., that promotes the use of dairy products in Pennsylvania and portions of Maryland.
Last month, Naugle retired with plans to devote more time to her family. Her story spans 84 years, two continents and a passion for one industry — dairy.
Born in Nebraska, she is the granddaughter of Scottish immigrants and the daughter of grain farmers.
At the age of 25, in 1954, she applied to go on a foreign exchange trip. She was accepted and spent time in Scotland. Before returning home, she and other students met in Paris for one last sightseeing trip. On the steps of the American Embassy, she met her future husband, John Naugle.
Once back in America, John Naugle worked as an Extension agent in Adams County, Pa., and Dorothy Naugle attended the University of Nebraska, obtaining degrees in home economics and journalism. Their courtship lasted three years, entirely by letter correspondence with the exception of a few phone calls.
After they married in 1958, Dorothy moved to Adams County and worked as a child welfare agent. Soon after, the Naugles had the opportunity to return to John’s home dairy farm in Somerset County.
Dorothy was busy rasing their children, David and Dana, for the first couple of years. After the kids were in school, she started helping with farm chores.
The Naugle farm never had more than 30 registered milking Holsteins at one time on the 300-acre property.
Due to John’s declining health, the family decided to sell the herd in 1982, leading Dorothy to work outside the home once again. She began as a church secretary and a temporary worker doing various secretarial jobs.
But by the end of 1985, Naugle found the job that became her career and passion, working for Allied Milk Producers.
Allied Milk Producers predates the 1983 start of the national dairy checkoff program. Allied Milk Producers’ Cooperative, Inc. was started in 1950 by independent dairy farmers who shipped milk to the former Sani-Dairy plant in Johnstown, Pa.
Today Allied Milk Producers serves as one of several dairy checkoff programs in the Mid-Atlantic region.
“(AMPC) met all of the requirements and didn’t have to get sucked into another government agency,” Dorothy Naugle remembered, referring to the requirements they have to follow to be an approved promotional agency.
And with the new national checkoff program, Allied Milk Producers’ Cooperative, Inc., grew from it’s original membership of Sani-Dairy milk suppliers.
“We started getting Galliker’s shippers and (the business) just snowballed,” she said talking about her early days with the organization.
Before Naugle’s position was created, AMPC put the bulk of their funds toward radio ads. Naugle set out to expand their dairy promotion efforts.
She began growing AMPC’s reach into the newspaper and school realms. By utilizing the connections she already had with radio stations, Naugle was able to make contacts at local school districts.
Naugle’s next big project was the purchase of soft serve ice cream machines and “The Little Red Barn,” both of which are still in use today. The Little Red Barn is a mobile ice cream parlor that can be taken to events, such as county fairs.
“One of the early things we did was with Sani-Dairy. They had a man who would haul the barn, park it in front of grocery stores and we would give away Sani-Dairy products,” Naugle said. “At that point (in the late 1980s and early 90s), I just went where I was needed. I just let people know what I did.”
Naugle’s promotional efforts kept growing. In the early 1990s, AMPC ventured into television marketing. She would typically write the commercials, sometimes utilize AMPC members or schoolchildren as actors, and have them filmed in the local community.
Ideas for advertisements, whether TV, radio or print, generally came from dairy checkoff mailings she received, like those from the American Dairy Association.
Dave Myers recalled that he was amazed how many people could recognize her voice from radio ads. “She knew a wealth of people everywhere. But when people that didn’t know her got introduced, they recognized her voice from the radio,” he said.
Another area Naugle directed their funds toward was Pennsylvania Dairy Princess and Promotion Services, Inc. At their annual seminar, Naugle would give each princess in attendance a “bundle of radio ads they could use,” she said.
Also in conjunction with the dairy princess program, Naugle developed a recipe brochure, “Distinctive Dairy Dishes,” for them to use at promotional events.
But AMPC’s most visible advertisements, billboards, began in the late 1980s and early 90s.
Naugle said that she would doodle a billboard idea, the general design and words, and then the artist at Lamar Advertising would develop her doodle into an ad.
Initially beginning with cow and milk ads, “at some point, the idea of a mouse and cheese just hit me,” she said.
And thus, “Mouszarella” was born. Now a copyrighted advertising tool of AMPC, Naugle’s mouse appears on all of their billboards.
“The name just came out of thin air one day. I don’t know if the mouse is male or female,” she said.
All the promotions, activities, and progress aside, Dorothy Naugle made Allied Milk Producers’ Cooperative, Inc., her life and her passion.
“It was her life. Some people have it and some people don’t. She always impressed me,” AMPC President Dave Myers said.
Margie Yon, sales manager for Lamar Advertising in Altoona, Pa., echoed Myers by saying: “I have worked with Dorothy for over 25 years and I’m very sorry to see her retire. She’s a remarkable woman with tireless energy and passion for the Allied Milk Producers (and) the farming industry. I just can’t say enough about Dorothy.”<\c> LS20130216_DorothyNaugle1
Billboard provided by Margie Yon/Lamar Advertising
This Christmas 2012 billboard design was the creation of Dorothy Naugle.
Photo provided by Courtney Paul-Wessner/Forever Broadcasting
Dorothy Naugle, left, attend the annual Forever Broadcasting Safe Trick or Treat 2012 event held at the Jaffa Shrine, Altoona, Pa.