I know I’ve said it a bunch, but I’ll say it one more time — June is Dairy Month! As a dairy farmer this is top of mind for me, but there’s something else to celebrate this year in particular. Did you know 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of National Dairy Council?
National Dairy Council provides resources for nutrition professionals as well as consumers about the many benefits of dairy foods. They are committed to a science-based approach, and they’ve been hard at work for 100 years. To celebrate this milestone Midwest Dairy Association is hosting a blog party of 100 reasons to love dairy. Many other dairy farmers like me will be linking up too, and we’ll each share 10 of our own reasons to love dairy. You can see mine below. Be sure to check out the main post here along with some of the other farm blog links.
10) Calcium. I know this important mineral is nearly synonymous with milk and dairy foods, but it’s still worth a mention. Strong bones are important no matter what your age, and dairy foods can help build and maintain them.
9) Ice Cream. Yes, this sweet treat gets its very own reason. Whether a sundae, a malt, or a hand scooped cone, sometimes you just need frozen, creamy goodness. It’s a good thing ice cream month is right around the corner in July!
8) Ears and Noses. Well, someone had to say it! Dairy cows are a vital part of the dairy industry, and their big floppy ears and wet noses are an endearing feature if you ask me. Also — eyelashes.
7) Chocolate Milk. Kids love it, and adults should too. It’s got the perfect blend of carbs and protein to refuel and hydrate your body after a workout, plus it’s full of great vitamins and minerals. At the end of a long run (or an afternoon of farm work) I can’t wait to mix up a glass and drink up.
6) Rural way of life. Dairy animals and the milk they produce have been an important part of rural communities and economies for centuries. While most people can’t have a cow or two in the backyard anymore, dairy farming is still a way of life for thousands in rural America. And as farmers we are very proud to help provide fresh, nutritious dairy for you and your family.
5) Curiosity. No question about it, cattle are curious creatures. If you have a few free minutes to stand among the herd it doesn’t take long before one is licking you and another is tasting your hair. They might chew through twine if you think it will temporarily close a gate, and they are always wondering about farm dogs.
4) Taste. A cold glass of milk is delicious, and I enjoy Greek yogurt nearly every day. Sour cream is a necessity in our house, and butter is better with everything, right? Quite simply, I love dairy because it tastes delicious. You may think I’m forgetting cheese, but just give me a moment…
3) Cheese. With the huge variety of types and tastes I believe cheese needs to have its very own reason. I cannot begin to count all the ways I love cheese. I also can’t pick a favorite between sharp cheddar, pepperjack, chèvre or Brie, not to mention cream cheeses and cheesecake.
2) Cow and Calf. New life is a beautiful thing. It never gets old watching a mother cow care for her newborn.
1) Family. Family is important to us all, and in the dairy community I think that holds even more true. So many dairies are multi-generation family businesses, and often two or three generations work together to care for animals and land. As farms grow they may support additional employees and families and the positive traditions and values continue. I myself am a sixth generation Minnesota dairy farmer, and dairy is at the heart of my family.
How about you? Share with me one or more reasons you love dairy!