June is National Dairy Month!
Known as National Milk Month from 1937 to 1939, National Dairy Month began as an initiative to sell extra milk in the warmer months and promote drinking milk. It has developed into an annual, month long celebration of the dairy industry, dairy products, and every bit in between!
Dairy is what Wisconsin is known for. From our license plates reading “America’s Dairyland”, to being the only state in the U.S. with a Master Cheese Program, Wisconsin knows dairy. There are over 6,500 dairy farms in our state, with over 1.2 million cows producing milk. Along with that, dairy is a family business. In Wisconsin, 95% of dairy farms are family owned.
Milk and other dairy products are very valuable in our diets, having them as a regular part of your diet provide you the nutrients to build strong bones and teeth. Dietary guidelines suggest three daily servings of dairy foods; milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. Dairy foods provide calcium, potassium, and vitamin D. Most alternative milk beverages have less than half the nutrients of dairy milk and often cost about twice as much.
Dairy Fun Facts!
- America’s favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla, chocolate is second.
- Farmers measure milk in pounds, not gallons- 8.6 pounds per gallon is the standard.
- It takes 10 pounds of milk to make 1 pound of cheese and 21 pounds of milk to make a pound of butter.
- Dairy cows eat about 100 pounds of food a day and drink 25-50 gallons of water.
- Home delivery of milk started in 1942 as a war conservation measure.
- Little Miss Muffet’s curds and whey (from the nursery rhyme) were an early version of cottage cheese.
- June 1 is also celebrated as World Milk Day.
There are many ways you can get involved in National Dairy Month yourself! For example, going to your local ice cream shop, interacting with a dairy farmer, or attending a Dairy Breakfast/Breakfast on the Farm.
Dairy Breakfasts have been a part of Wisconsin’s celebration for nearly 50 years!
Dairy Breakfast’s allow you to get up close and personal with dairy cows and your local farmers, all while enjoying a delicious breakfast! Manitowoc County’s Breakfast on the Farm will be held at Grotegut’s Dairy Farm on June 12 from 8am to noon, in Newton.
Not in Manitowoc County? You can find a list of other Dairy Breakfast’s all over the state of Wisconsin, here: https://www.wisconsindairy.org/national-dairy-month/Dairy-Breakfasts