By: Isa Siewert
Why is June Dairy Month? At its inception in 1937, June was declared as National Milk Month in an attempt to promote milk consumption.
Around this time, production of dairy was in surplus and the movement sought to stabilize the economic demand. Throughout the years, this title evolved slowly into a wraparound celebration of dairy, giving way to its new name: Dairy Month. So let’s take some time to look back on the roots of the dairy industry and how it drives our economy today.
We owe a great deal to the dairy industry, from supplying over 217.5 billion pounds, or 21 billion gallons, of product a year to creating over 900,000 jobs in the US alone. Even though the demand for dairy has grown exponentially, the humble beginnings of dairy farming remain. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 98% of U.S. dairy farms are family owned.
No matter the size of the operation, farmers in the dairy industry are historically dedicated to forward-thinking innovation. Dairy farmers oversee some of the most productive livestock in the world through their constant commitment to efficiency. What used to take 26 million cows in 1944 now can be achieved with just 9 million today! Even now, dairy farmers are working around the clock to constantly adapt to a moving world to provide a consistent and nutritious product.
Yankee Farm Credit has made a commitment to providing support for all facets, large or small, of the Northeastern dairy industry. We are proud to say that a large percentage of our gross principal loans are benefiting dairy across our region. As a member-owned cooperative, we recognize the importance of supporting our borrowers inside and out, which is why we’re proud sponsors of many vital dairy activities.
So what can you do this Dairy Month?
Of course, regularly scheduled events have been canceled due to the global pandemic, but that does not mean all is lost to support local farmers
Whether you are a farm owner or supporter, check out some ways to celebrate Dairy Month below.
- Breakfast on the Farm, a Vermont tradition, has provided access to virtual farm tours online for Dairy Month in replacement of their usual festivities. Take some time to explore an unscripted look at Vermont dairy with Will and Brooke Gladstone of Newmont Farm.
- Where is the nearest farmers market? Continue to attend and support local farmers markets as many of them are still active through summer 2020.
- If you are a Vermont farm owner, or supporter, consider participating in this coming August 6th annual Open Farm Week! Registration for farms opened on March 1st and is still active!
- Try a new recipe using farm-fresh dairy! Dairy Month is all about celebrating what the industry has to offer so now is the time to buy local and get cooking! Try out these fun and easy recipes like smoothies, lasagna, and no-churn ice cream.
Regardless of how you get involved, it’s important to stay connected and utilize your resources. For questions about how Yankee Farm Credit can support your dairy business, give us a call at 800-639-3053 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org