June 2 2014 09:54 AM

Dairy foods are worth talking about; they contain more nutrients and are only pennies per serving

By Ali Enerson, Hoard's Dairyman Special Publications Editor
dairy facts

June. It's National Dairy Month. With dairy products and our nation's food under scrutiny, it would be easy to just sit out June Dairy Month altogether this year. But I would argue that very reason makes it all the more important that you participate. Each of us, contributing even just one hour of time, will create a tremendous impact. So, brush up on your dairy knowledge and decide what you can do this month.

National Dairy Month actually started in 1937 as National Milk Month to promote drinking milk. Soon after, it changed to Dairy Month to encompass all dairy products. Today, we celebrate dairy in every avenue during June, thanking our nation's hardworking farmers for their dedication and commitment to producing high-quality, nutritious dairy products.

Some dairy food facts from DairyMakesSense.com by the Midwest Dairy Association:
  • Dairy foods provide more nutrition for every dollar spent. At about 25 cents per 8-ounce serving, your glass of milk includes protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and more! I'll feed that to my future kids any day over juices, sport and soft drinks.
  • Vitamins and minerals, like calcium and vitamin D, are best found in dairy and are important for good health at any age.
  • Help build and maintain strong bones, control blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight with dairy foods.
  • Dairy foods help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, osteoporosis and obesity.
Here are a few ideas to help you find where you can best contribute to promoting dairy this month:
  • Partner with a local ice cream shop to bring a calf over for a Saturday morning.
  • Donate to The Great American Milk Drive.
  • Send some chocolate milk and cheese as a snack to day care.
  • Volunteer at a local dairy breakfast or promotional event.
  • Make a new recipe using some delicious dairy products.
Celebrate the "foster mother of the human race." Celebrate the dairy farmers who make all that cheese for the slice of pizza in your hand. Celebrate June Dairy Month.

Ali blog footer
The author, Ali Enerson, was the special publications editor, responsible for books, plans, distribution of the e-newsletter and various internal communication pieces. She grew up on a 60-cow dairy in northwest Wisconsin, and is a graduate of University of Wisconsin–Madison with a degree in life sciences communications.