Celebrating Our Month (and Milk!)

Published on Wed, 05/17/2017 - 10:28am

Celebrating Our Month (and Milk!)

By Donna Telle, dairy farmer, Uniontown, Missouri

There’s a month for everything, but very few of them have been around for 75 years. But June Dairy Month has been, and I would imagine it’s engrained in the consciousness of every dairy farm family.

Being a dairy farmer, it’s gratifying that we celebrate what my family and the rest of us in the dairy sector do, and what we provide to people. No matter what the latest food trend is – protein, clean labels, convenience, versatility – milk, cheese and yogurt seem to fit. Now, if we could only get everyone to consume at least three servings a day!
After all, that’s what the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends. According to the guidelines, everyone ages nine and older should consume three servings of dairy foods every day. Yes, some of us would rather it didn’t say low-fat or fat-free, but perhaps that will change. There is mounting evidence full-fat dairy does a body good, too.
This year, June Dairy month kicks off with World Milk Day June 1, and it’s a good reason to to talk about our product. World Milk Day was initiated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and it’s meant to mark the importance of milk as part of a healthy and balanced diet, and the dairy community’s global contributions to economic development and agriculture. It also celebrates the sustainability practices on our farms and how we protect the environment while producing milk.  
On World Milk Day, you’ll see lots of activity online. Our promotion organizations are recognizing the day and hoping we’ll all give a milk toast on our social media accounts. Got a farm Facebook page? Post a live video of your family doing a milk toast. Someone in your family on Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat? Encourage them to post a photo of their milk glass. Make sure you use the hashtag #WorldMilkDay. If you want to find out more, go to WorldMilkDay2017.com. It’s a great day to do special things on behalf of all our cows provide.
All during June, many of you are doing special things. Maybe it’s a farm open house, or farm tours. Maybe it’s a community celebration or a sending a dairy princess to an event. For some of you, it might be an individual effort as simple as providing chocolate milk for the baseball team.
Whatever it is, I think it matters. There are fewer of us today in the dairy business and we ought to be loud and proud.
In our daily lives, a day in June isn’t much different from any other day. We milk our cows, tend our crops, and spend time with our families and in our communities. If we’re lucky, we get to take part in something special like a graduation, a wedding or a family vacation.
But I’d like to think we can all remember we have our own special month – June Dairy Month – because it’s a great reason to celebrate.

About the Author
Donna Telle and her husband, John, grow crops and milk cows on a sixth-generation farm with their sons, Andrew and Blake. Telle serves on the Mo-Kan Division board of Midwest Dairy Association.