Lansing, MI - Governor Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed June as Michigan Dairy Month, coinciding with National Dairy Month, to celebrate the state’s dairy farmers and dairy processors; to recognize the dairy industry’s contribution to the state’s economy; and to promote the health and nutrition benefits of dairy products.
“Michigan’s dairy industry is one of our largest agricultural industries that supports nearly 40,000 jobs both on and off the farm and has an annual economic impact of $15.7 billion,” said Whitmer. “This Dairy Month, we recognize Michigan’s incredible dairy farms, many that are family owned for multiple generations, for producing wholesome, delicious products for Michiganders and people around the world.”
National Dairy Month is traditionally celebrated in June to encourage Americans to reduce the risks of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, obesity, and colon cancer through consumption of dairy products, and to help parents and caregivers teach the children in their care the importance of healthy eating habits, good nutrition and physical activity, and how dairy fits into a well-balanced, healthy meal plan. Dairy foods provide about 52 percent of the calcium, 51 percent of the vitamin D, and 17 percent of the protein consumed by Americans.
“National Dairy Month started out as National Milk Month in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk but has grown into an annual tradition that celebrates the contributions the dairy industry has made to the U.S. and to the world,” said Sharon Toth, CEO of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. “Dairy products, from milk and cheese to yogurt, are both delicious and nutritious, and research shows that healthy eating styles, including low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, are linked to a reduced risk of some of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the U.S., as well as improved bone health.”
There are 440,000 dairy cows on 1,153 dairy farms of all sizes in our state, which produced 11.56 billion pounds of milk in 2020, ranking Michigan 6th in the nation for milk production. For the first time, in January 2021, Michigan dairy farmers produced more than one billion pounds of milk in a single month, joining an elite group of five other states to reach this production level. That production trend is expected to continue and has led to an expansion of dairy processing facilities and the use of new technologies.
“Michigan has seen remarkable expansion in new dairy businesses and technologies, from large dairy processors and automated ‘robotic’ milking systems to smaller on-farm artisanal cheese makers,” said Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “The increased capacity for dairy processing in our state provides a stable market for the high-quality milk our dairy farmers produce, which in turn supports our farm families and communities across the state and keeps healthy, nutritious dairy products affordable for all Michigan residents.”
Throughout Michigan Dairy Month, MDARD will feature a series of social media posts and podcasts showcasing Michigan’s delicious dairy products, as well as processors and farmers who make our dairy industry strong and remarkable. Follow and share the posts:
Dairy Recipes from the United Dairy Industry of Michigan.