June Dairy Month has served as a great reminder to consumers of the wonderful contributions to our health and well-being of natural, delicious milk and dairy products. And, as I sat at my breakfast table pondering what I would say this year about June Dairy Month, it occurred to me, what other food is so recognized.
A quick Google Search shows a list of such things as National Corn on the Cob Day, Potato Lover’s Day, and National Beef month, to name a few, (the U.S. has a day for virtually everything I think), yet I submit to you that none are as popular or as well-known as June Dairy Month.
And why not! Dairy plays a very unique role in consumer diets, with some of the most important and popular food items available. But, like so many things, it’s easy for us Americans to take for granted.
U.S. dairy farmers are the most productive in the world, day by day, month by month, year by year providing a reliable and safe supply of milk and dairy products.
U.S. consumers have never seen a day that they walked into their local grocery store and found the dairy case empty. And, probably never will.
Our dairy cases are the envy of much of the world.
But, behind that dairy case is the hardworking farmer whose 24/7 business often finds itself receiving prices below the cost to produce the milk.
Fortunately, more and more consumers today are taking an active interest in where their food comes from and, while that provides some challenge to farming practices and creates a need to educate our city brethren, it hopefully, creates an awareness of the economics of dairy farming and the necessity of a fair milk price be paid to farmers. Even Scripture says in II Timothy 2:6; “The hard-working farmer ought to be the FIRST to receive his share of the crops.”
Dairy farmers deserve a fair share of the retail dairy dollar and America’s long standing “cheap food policy,” and milk pricing policies should not come at the farmer’s expense. Congress has begun the process of writing a new Farm Bill. I hope it will consider the absolute importance of home grown food and fiber.
Lastly it, pardon the pun, does my heart good to see milk and dairy products, particularly butter, exonerated after so many years of attack on dairy’s wholesomeness and importance in the diet.
New studies are underscoring the truth of dairy’s contribution to good health and America has a love affair with butter again and cheese remains its shining star.
Dairy products continue to offer consumers a wonderful nutrient package for everyone from new-borns to seniors and, thanks to this dedicated industry, they will always be available any day of the week at any time of the day because, even as you read this, there’s likely a dairy farmer somewhere at work on your behalf. Happy June Dairy Month!