With June fast approaching, many Wisconsinites begin thinking about vacations, warmer weather and being outdoors. All Wisconsinites also should be thinking that June is Dairy Month.
Why? The dairy industry and Wisconsin’s economy are very closely tied together. In 2018, Wisconsin produced more than 30 billion pounds of milk (14 percent of the total U.S. milk production) and that 23 percent of the total dairy farms in the U.S. are located in Wisconsin.
If you’re still not convinced about the state’s economy and dairy being linked, consider that the Wisconsin Dairy Industry generates $43.4 billion each year for the state’s economy.
That’s more than the combined value of citrus to Florida, potatoes to Idaho, apples to Washington state or raisins to California. The state’s dairy farms help fuel the state’s economy at the rate of $80,000 per minute.
As if dairy production was not enough of a part of the state’s economy, consider that it is also a part of tourism in the state as well, as we saw recently with the visit of Gov. Tony Evers and his tourism secretary-designee to Sassy Cow Creamery just outside of Sun Prairie.
Wisconsin has an extensive history of celebrating its rich agricultural community and the dairy industry with breakfast on a dairy farm. The first official farm breakfast in celebration of National Dairy Month was hosted in June 1970 by Craig and Laura Beane at Howlis Farms in Jefferson County. The event, which was organized by the local 4-H Club, had 155 attendees. Today, tens of thousands of people attend more than 70 farm breakfasts throughout Wisconsin. Each farm features a unique menu, activities and entertainment.
This year’s Dane County Dairy Breakfast is being hosted by Klondike Farms in Brooklyn on Saturday, June 8.
Another way the industry celebrates dairy each year is Cows on the Concourse. Each year, attendees find the spots just off the Capitol Square where dairy goodness is celebrated with grilled cheese sandwiches, dairy product samples, trivia contests where dairy knowledge is tested, and even some live entertainment. This year’s event will help kick off June is Dairy Month on Saturday, June 1.
Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin have developed some unique ways to celebrate June is Dairy Month this year, including:
• Tuning in to the official June Dairy Month Spotify playlist;
• Watching the “I’m a Wisconsin Dairy Farmer” short video series on YouTube, or catching them before movies at Marcus Theatres and pregame at the Milwaukee Brewers baseball games;
• Purchasing Wisconsin dairy products with the Proudly Wisconsin Cheese and Proudly Wisconsin Dairy badges to make your favorite dairy recipes at home; and
• Sharing access to high-quality nutrition, including milk, with kids this summer by donating at GiveAGallon.com for the Great American Milk Drive.
If that’s not enough ways to celebrate the state’s dairy goodness, you can visit HoorayWisconsinDairy.com for more information and to find a farm breakfast or an event located near you.
Wisconsin has much to celebrate, especially with June Dairy Month approaching.
Help state dairy farmers celebrate their hard work and stewardship of the land by observing June Dairy Month in Wisconsin — and eating plenty of Wisconsin dairy products.