Oct. 12 2018 11:55 AM

Today, we choose to say thank you to those who produce and consume dairy products.

Thank you, dairy farmers.

Thank you for devoting your lives to caring for animals, caring for the environment, and caring for us by producing a nutritious and safe product.

Thank you for never giving up on that stubborn calf that refused to drink its milk. Thank you for getting up at 1 a.m. to check on that calving cow.

Thank you for making the tough decision to put cows down when that needs to happen. Thank you for fighting for the ones you can save.

Thank you for working in the rain, in the sun, and in all those weather conditions that challenge you physically and mentally. Thanks for fighting Mother Nature to get your crops in even when she refuses to cooperate.

Thank you, dairy farmers, for giving it your all even when the paycheck doesn’t cover the investments you make in your farms.

Thank you for your minds, your hearts, and your souls that even on your worst day can’t imagine doing anything else.

Thank you, consumers.

Thank you for buying milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, sour cream, creamer, and every other dairy product. Thank you for understanding the importance of these items in your diet.

Thank you for taking the time to ask questions, meet our animals, and learn about the things that challenge us. Thanks for visiting our farms and trusting us to do our very best.

Thank you for challenging us to get better, to produce a higher-quality product, and to take even better care of our animals. Thanks for helping us see that there’s always room to improve.

Thank you for supporting us mentally and emotionally as we muddle through our best and worst times. Thanks for being our friends and helping us laugh on our hardest days and celebrating with us on our best.

Thank you… because sometimes we forget to say it.

Maggie Seiler

The author is an associate editor. She covers feeding and nutrition, youth activities, and heads up the World Dairy Expo Supplement. Maggie was raised on a 150-cow dairy near Valley Center, Kansas, and graduated from Kansas State University with degrees in agricultural communications and animal sciences.