We celebrate dairy all day, every day, because it’s what we were born to do -- dairy is our passion. But we’re always excited for June when we get to celebrate our love of dairy with everyone during National Dairy Month. June is a time to enjoy two (or three!) scoops of ice cream instead of one; add a pat of butter to our baked potato; swirl real cream into our black coffee; sink our teeth into a four-cheese pizza; and top all our berries, pies and cakes with real whipped cream. It’s a time to appreciate the hard work and dedication Washington dairy farmers put in each day to care for their cows and the land so as to provide farm-fresh dairy products we can all enjoy.
June also serves as a great reminder that dairy is a key ingredient of good health. It’s recommended that people include 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy in their diet every day to stay healthy. Getting three servings of dairy is easy because one serving of dairy can be: 1 cup (8 oz.) of low-fat or fat-free milk; or 1 cup (8 oz.) low-fat or fat-free yogurt; or 1.5 oz. of reduced-fat natural cheese; or 2 oz. of reduced-fat processed cheese; or ⅓ cup reduced-fat shredded cheese.
From potassium to calcium, dairy products contain nine essential nutrients your body needs to survive. Dairy can help with weight management, promote bone health and reduce the risk for high blood pressure and certain cancers. Dairy foods are nutrient-rich and have been dubbed “a natural nutrient powerhouse.” Whether you want a better start to the day, a quick snack to boost your energy or a delicious excuse to bring the family together at dinnertime, dairy has you covered. You can dip it, blend it, slice it, shred it, top it, chug it, mix it, melt it, roll it or even scoop it (yes, we’re talking about ice cream again!). Check out 30 Days of Dairy for ideas on how to add delicious dairy to your diet this month.
Dairy Month began in 1937 as National Milk Month, but was put on pause during the World War II years. After the war, it was renamed “June Dairy Month” to help promote the industry. The original motto was “Keep Youthful – Drink Milk” and was supported by the National Dairy Council. Initiatives, materials and promotions were funded by a $0.01 per pound butterfat assessment levied in June. By 1955, the American Dairy Association became the primary promoter of June Dairy Month, focusing on sales and community promotions.
Even today, many communities across the nation hold festivals and parades led by a Dairy Ambassador who often hands out samples of products at local stores. Washington’s new Dairy Ambassador will be crowned at the end of the month and begin a 12-month term. The emphasis of June Dairy Month is on both the importance of the dairy farmer in modern society and the products they provide to help us all lead a healthy and nutritious lifestyle.
Dairy products are good for the health of your body and your community, and dairy farming families continue to be an important part of our state’s rich history and tradition.
Support your local dairy farmers by incorporating dairy into your lifestyle! Happy June Dairy Month!