During June Dairy Month, Comer celebrates a dairy industry that changes with the times
Kentucky's dairy farmers and processors provide dairy products that supply calcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals. But many do even more, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said as he commemorated June Dairy Month in Kentucky.
"Kentucky's dairy farms have adapted to keep going in today's agricultural economy," Commissioner Comer said. "Some have consolidated to take advantage of economies of scale. Others have adopted time-saving and labor-saving technological advances. Still others produce unique value-added products and even open their farms to tourists. I appreciate Kentucky's dairy farmers for all they do for Kentucky families."
Kentucky has dairy operations and processors that produce ice cream, artisan cheese, goat cheese, and sheep cheese as well as fluid milk. Nine commercial fluid milk processors are scattered throughout the commonwealth.
Kentucky producers received more than $232 million in cash receipts from sales of dairy products in 2011, the National Agricultural Statistics Service reported. Kentucky had 792 dairy farms as of February, according to Eunice Schlappi, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's dairy marketing specialist. Many of the dairy farms were clustered in south-central Kentucky and in southwestern Kentucky along the Tennessee border. At least two Kentucky counties, Christian and Todd, are seeing growth in numbers of dairy farms.
The Lexington Legends will salute Kentucky's dairy industry on June 11, and the Bowling Green Hot Rods will follow suit on June 20. Adair, Barren, Hart, and several other dairy-producing counties will host local events to celebrate Kentucky's dairy industry.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture helps Kentucky dairy farmers and processors find new markets for their products and conducts dairy cattle shows across the state. The department and the Kentucky Dairy Development Council take Kentucky Kate, a milkable fiberglass cow, to schools, fairs, and festivals where kids and adults alike can try their hand at milking. To read more about the department's services to the dairy industry, go to www.kyagr.com.