More than 75 years since the annual celebration began,June Dairy Month continues to recognize dairy foods and the people who make them possible to enjoy. Today, dairy's goodness comes from more than 9,000 dairy farm families from throughout the Midwest. Beginning in 1937, the observance was created as a way to help distribute extra milk when cows started on pasture in the summer months. June Dairy Month's rich history continues, with communities, companies and people from all over the country observing the nutritional and economic value dairy foods deliver.
Dairy is good for health and budgets
Nutrient-rich dairy foods are one of the most economical sources of nutrition. In fact, few foods deliver dairy's powerhouse of nutrients in such an affordable, appealing and readily available way. At only about 25 cents per 8-ounce glass, milk delivers nine essential nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D for strong bones and protein for healthy muscles.
Dairy's goodness begins with dairy farmers
At the heart of dairy's goodness are Midwest dairy farmers, who work hard every day to ensure nutritious milk is available to families. Recently, they partnered with Feeding America and the nation's milk processors to launch the Great American Milk Drive; the first program to deliver gallons of milk to hungry families who need it most. Fresh milk is the top food requested by Feeding America's food banks, but milk is harder for people to donate because it's perishable. That means 37 million Feeding America participants receive the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year — far short of the recommended three servings of milk a day.
"Dairy farmers share a passion for their livelihoods and in producing wholesome, nutritious dairy foods for everyone to enjoy," says Stephanie Cundith, a registered dietitian with Midwest Dairy Council. "Raise your milk glass to toast June Dairy Month!"
To celebrate June Dairy Month, families can:
Attend a June Dairy Month event in your state. In the Midwest, dairy farms and families open their doors for breakfasts and tours.
If you can't visit a farm, get to know some of the men and women who produce dairy's goodness by meeting a farmer in the Midwest.
Strive for three servings of dairy every day. A simple way to do this is by making milk the mealtime beverage.
Additional dairy recipes, nutrition information and stories about where good comes from, can be found atDairyMakesSense.com.
Midwest Dairy Association® is a non-profit organization funded by dairy farmers to build demand for dairy products through integrated marketing, nutrition education and research. Midwest Dairy is funded by checkoff dollars from dairy farmers in a 10-state region, including Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. For more information, visit www.midwestdairy.com. Follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook at Midwest Dairy.