Celebrate the reasons why dairy makes sense

Farm Forum

ST. PAUL, Minn. – More than 75 years since the annual celebration began, June Dairy Month continues to recognize dairy foods and the farmers who produce them. 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 celebrating the many reasons why dairy makes sense for families and the environment.

Not only do dairy foods taste great, but they are good for your health and your budget. Plus, they’re produced by dairy farmers with a longstanding commitment to sustainability. To better understand dairy’s benefits, consider the following:

• Dairy is a Nutrient Powerhouse: Dairy foods are full of vitamins and minerals and help build strong bones and healthy muscles, control blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

• Dairy Provides More for Your Money: At about 25 cents per 8-ounce serving, milk is a bargain, especially when you consider all the nutrients inside. “Dairy is a wise investment for your family,” says Midwest Dairy Association registered dietitian Stephanie Cundith. “No other food group delivers as much nutrition in such an affordable, flavorful and convenient way.”

• Dairy Farmers Are Committed to Sustainability: 8,000 Midwest dairy farm families work 365 days a year to ensure nutritious milk and dairy foods are available now and in the future while using a variety of conservation practices and on-farm efficiencies to reduce their environmental impact.

To celebrate June Dairy Month, get to know a farmer by attending a June Dairy Month event in your state or meet a Midwest dairy farm family online. Also, aim for three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy every day, which is the amount recommended for people ages nine and older in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. Start by finding a new dairy recipe to prepare, such as this Chocolate Berry Smoothie made with Greek yogurt and chocolate milk. For more dairy recipes, and dairy nutrition and farming information, visit