June, the month parallel with no school, summer, BBQ’s, and weddings–but most important, for me, as a dairy farmer’s daughter, is that June is Dairy Month. June became Dairy Month back in 1937, when they wanted to promote the dairy industry, and begin influencing children and parents to get their dairy nutrients. You can find many articles about dairy month on several websites, here are a few: http://indianadairy.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/history-of-june-dairy-month/ http://www.midwestdairy.com/0t66p82/june-dairy-month/
I am sure you are wondering why I am promoting Dairy month so fiercely, well my friends, I am a future dairy farmer. I feel this promotion is important to be successful in the industry. Many would rather work with beef cattle, pigs or sheep, maybe even grow crops, but all I want to do is milk a cow. The dairy industry was a huge part of everyone’s daily life, unfortunately with the economic pressures and many other “substitute” items coming out, promising better health, the industry has lost a lot of power. These days the smaller farms are having to quit milking, and if you want to survive you better get more cows. While there are still plenty of larger operations providing milk to this country, I feel like everyone should know and thank the smaller farmers still putting in their hard work and dedication to providing a great tasting product to every household. Dairy farmers have strong passion for their job, I know this because of something my father told me once and I have never forgot, he said, “I do not farm to make a living, I farm because I feel as though this is what I am supposed to do to provide food for everyone so that they may survive in this world too.” That is the reason, I want to keep the dairy farm alive and thriving, I want to provide nutrients and delicious dairy products to help others, too.
I could go on for hours and hours talking about the struggles, up and downs to owning and operating a dairy farm, large or small, but I will save that for another time. I guess my main point is take time this month to thank those hard-working dairy farms that milk every day of the year, yes everyday— even holidays—365 days of milking— two or three times a day. The hard work and passion that provides the nutrients you need by just taking the time to drink that glass of milk, enjoy a piece of cheese, or fill your sweets craving with some ice cream. Go ahead you know you want some form of a dairy product now, enjoy it!
By Deanna Patterson