OVERLAND PARK, Kan., June 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- June Dairy Month, an annual celebration that began in 1937, is traditionally a time to reflect on dairy foods and the industry that makes it possible. It was created as a way to help distribute extra milk when cows started on pasture in the summer months. Today, its rich history continues, with communities, companies and people from all over the country observing June Dairy Month in a variety of ways. In 2012, Midwest Dairy is celebrating dairy farmers' commitment to producing fresh, wholesome and nutritious milk with fewer resources fostering healthy people, communities and planet, and meeting the food needs of a growing global population.
Nutrient-rich dairy foods are one of the most economical sources of nutrition. In fact, few foods deliver dairy's powerhouse of nutrients in such an affordable, appealing and readily available way. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages children and adults nine years and older to enjoy three servings of low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese or yogurt every day. And at about 25 cents per glass, milk provides one of the richest sources of well-absorbed calcium in the American diet.
Even with all of the time constraints that come along with summer activities, it is important to remember to have nutritious meals throughout the day. Midwest Dairy registered dietitian, Stephanie Cundith recommends the Orange Cream Chiller, a delightful refresher loaded with calcium and vitamin C, to start off the day. Mozzarella Pepper Salsa is a nutrient-rich and colorful recipe that makes for a light snack. Add some dairy to dinner by letting your slow cooker do the work with Pulled Pork Soft Tacos topped with shredded low-fat Colby Jack cheese.
America's heartland – from North Dakota to Arkansas – is home to more than 9,500 dairy farms and the people behind the products – dairy farmers. And while these farms may differ, dairy farmers share a passion for their livelihoods and in producing wholesome, nutritious dairy products for people of all ages to enjoy. In the Midwest, dairy farms and families open their gates to visitors for breakfasts and tours, while grocery stores and other businesses feature dairy products during the month. According to U.S. Dairy Markets and Outlook, the economic impact of U.S. dairy is estimated to be $140 billion, making it a vital part of our nation's food system. Learn more about how dairy contributes to the economy in 10 Midwest states.
A Healthy Planet
Dairy farm families also take pride and take an active role in preserving our natural resources. Since 1944, the U.S. dairy industry has reduced the environmental impact of a gallon of milk resulting in 90 percent less cropland, 75 percent less manure, 65 percent less water and 63 percent less carbon. Read more about the industry's efforts in sustainability and progress made toward goals to strengthen the economic, environmental and social contributions of dairy.
Visit Midwest Dairy's website at DairyMakesSense.com to learn more about the many reasons why dairy makes sense -- from its nutritional and economic value to recipes to the people behind the product. If you can't make it to the farm in person, take a virtual tour.
Dairy Fast Facts
- Dairy makes eating healthy easy! An 8-ounce glass of milk contains nine essential nutrients and costs about 25 cents, providing more nutritional bang for your buck.
- Dairy farms support rural communities in all 50 states.
- There are more than 51,000 dairy farm families in the Unites States, including more than 9,500 in Midwest Dairy's 10 states.
- The economic impact of U.S. dairy is estimated to be $140 billion.
- Dairy is local. It typically takes two days to get from the farm to the grocery store.
- The dairy industry has reduced the environmental impact of a gallon of milk since 1944, resulting in 90% less cropland, 75% less manure, 65% less water and 63% less carbon.
Midwest Dairy Association represents more than 9,500 dairy farm families to nearly 38 million consumers across 10 Midwestern states, including Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. We work on behalf of dairy farmers to increase dairy sales, foster innovation and inspire consumer confidence in dairy products and practices. For more information, visit DairyMakesSense.com and MidwestDairy.com. Follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook.
SOURCE Midwest Dairy Association