Milk, cheese and ice cream: these are a few of America’s favorite foods. It is easy for us to go into our local grocery store and pick up any kind of dairy product that we can imagine, not to mention the fact that dairy products are critical ingredients to an almost unlimited list of other food items. What most of us don’t think about when we grocery shop is exactly what goes into producing a gallon of milk, 8 ounces of cheese, or a quart of ice cream.
Beginning in 1937 as National Milk Month, National Dairy Month started out as a way to promote drinking milk in order to stabilize demand when dairy was at a surplus. Since then, June as become an annual national tradition that celebrates the contributions the dairy industry has made to our country and world, thanks to the National Dairy Council’s promotion. Today there are almost 49,000 dairy farmers in America, with 97% of all dairy farms being family owned and operated. Dairy farming is not just a job, it is a lifestyle for the entire family, and for most families, spanning several generations. It truly is a family affair!
Celebrating National Dairy Month is a great way to honor the dairy farming families, especially the farmers themselves. Take a moment to think about the dairy families when purchasing or consuming dairy products. And if you don’t currently use dairy products, National Dairy Month is a great time to start enjoying these nutrient-rich foods. Dairy products can contain up to nine essential nutrients which can help you control your weight, lower your risk for high blood pressure, osteoporosis and some cancers. In addition, dairy products help build/repair muscle and keep your skin healthy.
Those are just a few of the reasons that you should celebrate dairy farm families and dairy products, not just in June, but all year long.