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June Dairy Month--The tradition continues

More than 70 years ago, dairy farmers started a tradition that has survived and flourished: June Dairy Month. Originally established to stabilize dairy demand through grocery store promotions, it has now grown to include many other dairy promotion activities as well.

"As a Midwest dairy farmer I'm proud to say that the June Dairy Month tradition originated right here in the Midwest," says Mel Kunstleben, dairy farmer and chair of the Midwest Dairy Association. "As you might expect, the Midwest Dairy Association continues to conduct programs focused on that original mission during June: help sell more dairy products and enhance the dairy industry's image."

MDA is carrying out a wide variety of June promotions, including some exciting new partnerships with baseball teams such as the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and the Minnesota Twins. Each of these sponsorships includes cooperation with media partners and local grocery chains to help leverage promotion dollars and increase the impact.

Here are a few highlights of the June Dairy Month activities:

--Minnesota Twins: During a game on June 17, the first 5,000 fans will receive a 3-A-Day growth poster featuring Lew Ford. As part of the effort, MDA will implement a consumer contest with Cub Foods in which the first 250 Cub shoppers at each of Cub's 66 Minnesota stores who purchase milk, cheese and yogurt will get a free limited-edition Lew Ford growth poster. Consumers will also register for a chance to win Twin's prizes, including tickets to a game and a chance to have their kids throw out the ceremonial first pitch, or be a "Batting Practice Buddy."

--Iowa Cubs: In Des Moines, the dairy checkoff will team up with the Iowa Cubs in sponsoring an event on June 3 devoted to promoting 3-A-Day of Dairy. This sponsorship will include a special offer of free tickets to the game with a purchase of milk, cheese and yogurt at Des Moines area Hy-Vee grocery stores.

--Soccer Challenge sponsorship. In St. Louis, families will learn more about 3-A-Day at the heavily attended Soccer Challenge held during Father's Day weekend. MDA will distribute information about the benefits of 3-A-Day and will have a personal trainer on hand to discuss the importance of nutrition and exercise.

--Milk and Oreo Cookie promotion: Who doesn't like ice-cold milk and an Oreo cookie-one of America's favorite snack combinations? The dairy checkoff will team up with Nabisco Oreos to celebrate the fun of drinking milk and dunking Oreos. Last year's promotion was extremely successful, selling nearly 20 million additional gallons of milk.

--Wal-Mart sponsorships: MDA will extend the Nabisco/Oreo cookie partnership by working with Wal-Mart Super Centers to focus on milk through an "Oreo-stacking" contest for children. At each event children will receive "got milk?" and 3-A-Day stickers, and information on the importance of getting 3-A-Day of dairy.

--Product sampling: MDA will sponsor product-sampling events in several MDA states where 3-A-Day messages will be distributed to shoppers.

--Public Relations campaign: MDA will also carry out an extensive public relations campaign with major consumer media in which consumers learn about the resourceful dairy farmer and how dairy cows recycle more than they can chew.

For more information about checkoff programs, visit www.dairycheckoff.com and www.midwestdairy.com.

Dairy industry facts

  • The annual production of milk in the U.S. during 2004 was 170.8 billion pounds, a 0.2 percent increase over 2003.
  • Production per cow in the U.S. averaged 18,957 pounds of milk for 2004. Since 1995, the average annual rate of a cow's production has increased by 16 percent.
  • The average cow produces enough milk each day to fill 6 gallon jugs, 55 pounds of milk.
  • All 50 states in the U.S. have dairy farms.
  • There are 86,310 dairy farms in the U.S., with an average 105 cows per herd.
  • The top five dairy states in 2004 were: 1. California; 2. Wisconsin; 3. New York; 4. Pennsylvania; and 5. Minnesota.
  • A typical dairy cow weighs 1,400 pounds and consumes about 50 pounds of dry matter each day.
  • The average cow drinks from 30 to 50 gallons of water each day--about a bathtub's worth.
  • Cows have an acute sense of smell, and can smell something up to 6 miles away.
  • Most cows chew at least 50 times per minute, and spend 10 hours a day chewing their cud in order for saliva production to buffer their rumen to a pH of 6.0.
  • There are approximately 340 to 350 "squirts" in a gallon of milk.
  • Cows arrived with the Jamestown settlers in 1611.
  • Tank trucks for transporting fluid milk were first introduced in 1914.
  • The dairy checkoff began in 1983, with the collection of funds beginning in 1984. Since then, per capita dairy consumption has increased from 533 pounds to 594 pounds.

    Sources: Dairy Management, Inc., USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service; International Dairy Foods Association, USDA; Information provided by the dairy checkoff

    Milk, cheese and yogurt: A powerful nutrient package. Together milk, cheese and yogurt provide NINE essential nutrients:

  • Calcium - Helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth and plays an important role in nerve function, muscle contraction and blood clotting.
  • Potassium - Regulates the body's fluid balance, helps maintain normal blood pressure and is needed for muscle activity and contraction.
  • Phosphorus - Helps strengthen bones and generates energy in body cells.
  • Protein - Builds and repairs muscle tissue, and serves as a source of energy during high-powered endurance exercise.
  • Vitamin D - Helps promote the absorption of calcium and enhances bone mineralization.
  • Vitamin A - Helps maintain normal vision and skin, and helps regulate cell growth and maintains the integrity of the immune system.
  • Vitamin B12 - Helps build red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to working muscles.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) - Helps convert food into energy - a process crucial for exercising muscles.
  • Niacin (or niacin equivalent) - Helps in the normal functioning of many enzymes in the body, and is involved in the metabolism of sugars and fatty acids.

    For more information call 1-800-406-MILK (6455) or visit www.midwestdairy.com.

    Dairy product facts


  • It takes more than 21 pounds of whole milk to make one pound of butter.
  • The Milk Mustache advertising campaign began in 1995.
  • The natural yellow color of butter comes mainly from the beta-carotene found in the grass cows eat.
  • More than 1,000 new dairy products are introduced every year.
  • The largest share of milk products is sold through retail supermarkets, followed by dairy and convenience stores.
  • The percentage of milk sold in paper containers continues to decline, while 82 percent of milk was sold in plastic in 2001 (the latest data available).
  • Des Moines consumes the most milk for a large city (18.7 gallons per person per year) compared to the U.S. average of 11.5 gallons. Chicagoans consume 8.7 gallons per person per year and New Yorkers consume 7.5 gallons.
  • The U.S. exports 5 percent of its milk production annually.
  • Dairy winners (consumption from 2002 to 2003): 14.5 percent increase in cream, 10.7 percent in yogurt, 5.2 percent in ice cream, 3.8 percent in cottage cheese, and 2.7 percent increase in flavored milk.


  • More than 10 pounds of milk go into one pound of cheese.
  • Americans eat an average of 30 pounds of cheese each year. Greeks eat the most cheese, an average of 54 pounds each year.
  • Wisconsin is the only producer of Limburger cheese in the U.S.
  • Cheddar is the most popular natural cheese in the U.S.
  • The United States' largest importer of cheese is Latin America, accounting for nearly 40 percent of all U.S. exports.
  • Cheese making dates back more than 4,000 years.
  • Travelers from Asia are believed to have brought the art of cheese making to Europe, improved by the monks of many European monasteries.
  • The Pilgrims included cheese in the supplies on board the Mayflower.
  • The first U.S. cheese factory was established in Oneida County, New York, in 1851.
  • More than one-third of all milk produced each year in the U.S. is used to manufacture cheese.
  • About 300 varieties of cheese are sold in the United States.
  • Enjoying steady growth in demand, Mozzarella is the dominant type of Italian cheese produced in the U.S. The fastest growing variety of cheese produced in the U.S. is Hispanic-style soft cheeses.

    Ice Cream

  • It takes 12 pounds of whole milk to make one gallon of ice cream.
  • Vanilla is America's favorite ice cream flavor.
  • Ice cream's origins go back as farm as the second century BC. Historians estimate that ice cream evolved from flavoring frozen snow with fruit juices to what we now know as ice cream somewhere around the 16th century.
  • Until 1800, ice cream was a rare and exotic dessert when insulated icehouses were invented. Ice cream manufacturing then became an industry.
  • Federal regulations say that ice cream must have at least 10 percent milkfat. Gourmet or premium ice cream has at least 12 percent milkfat.
  • In 2003, the U.S. produced 1.6 billion gallons of ice cream and other frozen dairy products.
  • Two states--California and Indiana--account for more than 22 percent of all the regular ice produced in the U.S. Other large ice cream producing states include Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Minnesota.

    Source: Dairy Facts, 2004, International Dairy Foods Association

    Dairy Farm Statistics

    Here are state dairy industry figures, including the number of dairy farms, cows and pounds of milk produced annually in each of these states served by the Midwest Dairy Association: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

    All data is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, and is for 2004, unless otherwise noted. Dairy farm numbers are based on licensed dairy herds in each state.


    Dairy Farms: 250
    Dairy Cows: 24,000
    Pounds of Milk Produced, annually: 318 million
    Average Dairy Herd Size: 96 cows


    Dairy Farms: 1,210
    Dairy Cows: 107,000
    Pounds of Milk Produced, annually: 1.97 billion
    Average Dairy Herd Size: 105 cows


    Dairy Farms: 2,420
    Dairy Cows: 193,000
    Pounds of Milk Produced, annually: 3.84 billion
    Average Dairy Herd Size: 80 cows


    Dairy Farms: 490
    Dairy Cows: 113,000
    Pounds of Milk Produced, annually: 2.2 billion
    Average Dairy Herd Size: 230 cows


    Dairy Farms: 5,810
    Dairy Cows: 463,000
    Pounds of Milk Produced, annually: 8.1 billion
    Average Dairy Herd Size: 80 cows


    Dairy Farms: 1,840
    Dairy Cows: 122,000
    Pounds of Milk Produced, annually: 1.8 billion
    Average Dairy Herd Size: 66 cows


    Dairy Farms: 400
    Dairy Cows: 34,000
    Pounds of Milk Produced, annually: 526 million
    Average Dairy Herd Size: 85 cows


    Dairy Farms: 400
    Dairy Cows: 78,000
    Pounds of Milk Produced, annually: 1.3 billion
    Average Dairy Herd Size: 195 cows


    Dairy Farms: 700
    Dairy Cows: 80,000
    Pounds of Milk Produced, annually: 1.3 million
    Average Dairy Herd Size: 114 cows

    Dairy Trivia

  • Americans eat the equivalent of 10 acres of pizza (and Mozzarella cheese) every day.
  • Americans love Oreo cookies and milk. In fact, there are 2.8 million Oreo cookie and milk eating occasions every day. That includes 64 million gallons of milk for dunking and drinking!
  • George Washington enjoyed ice cream so much he ran up a $200 ice cream bill in 1774.
  • Just ate spicy food? Milk is better for cooling your mouth than water because of the protein casein; it cleanses the taste buds.
  • Cheddar cheese was first invented in the town of, yes, Cheddar Gorge, England, more than 400 years ago.
  • A gallon of milk weighs 8.59 pounds.
  • A cow has 4 stomachs and 24 teeth.
  • The most common breed of dairy cow in the U.S. is the Holstein; Jerseys produce milk with the highest butterfat content.
  • An average cow produces about 350,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime.
  • Plastic milk bottles were first introduced in the U.S. in 1967.
  • McDonald's and Wendy's introduced plastic milk containers in the summer of 2004.
  • The tradition of making Swiss cheese in 200-pound wheels began in the Middle Ages when the Swiss government taxed cheese makers on the number of pieces they produced rather than to total weight of the cheese they made.
  • To get the same amount of calcium provide by 1 quart of milk, you would have to eat 3.5 pounds of peas, 27 oranges, or 50 slices of whole wheat bread.
  • Open the refrigerator in 96 percent of all households and you'll find a container of milk; 94 percent of all households have cheese.
  • Total cheese per capita consumption was 30.5 pounds in 2003, estimated to have grown to 31 pounds in 2004. Forty percent of all cheese is served at food service places.
  • Fifty-three percent of moms are familiar with the dairy industry's 3-A-Day of dairy logo; 59 percent of moms are aware of the weight loss benefits.


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