HARRISBURG, Pa., June 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding today shared an industry update with Pennsylvania's dairy leaders and celebrated Dairy Month with a 90-gallon ice cream sundae served on the Capitol steps.
"Celebrating June as Dairy Month shines a spotlight on Pennsylvania's top agricultural sector that generates more than $4.5 billion in total economic impact each year," said Redding. "We take this time to recognize our state's 7,400 dairy farm families whose hard work and dedication – even during incredibly challenging times – provide a safe, abundant milk supply for us all to enjoy."
Redding made his comments while addressing the Pennsylvania Dairy Task Force, where he briefed them on a recent decision by the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board that will help ensure in-state dairy producers receive their fair share of over-order premiums paid on milk produced, processed and sold in Pennsylvania.
"Thanks to Governor Rendell's urging, this calculation change could translate into approximately $6.7 million more being paid to the state's milk producers," said Redding. "This is a victory for our dairy producers and the industry as a whole, as we continue to find ways to protect the equity these farm families have built over generations."
Pennsylvania is the fifth largest milk producing state in the nation with its 541,000 dairy cows producing 10.6 billion pounds, or 5.6 percent of the nation's total milk supply annually. The state also ranks third in butter production and seventh in cheese production.
To learn more about the Pennsylvania dairy industry, visit the Center for Dairy Excellence website at www.centerfordairyexcellence.com.
Media contact: Jean Kummer, 717-787-5085
Editor's Note: The text of Governor Rendell's proclamation declaring June as Dairy Month follows:
Dairy Month - June 2010
WHEREAS, agriculture is Pennsylvania's leading economic enterprise, and the state's dairy industry is the leading agricultural industry in the Keystone State, contributing 39 percent of all agricultural income and generating more than $4.5 billion in total economic impact each year to this Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, 7,400 dairy farm families manage 541,000 cows that produce 10.6 billion pounds, or 5.6 percent, of the nation's total supply of milk annually, ranking Pennsylvania fifth in the nation in milk production; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania's dairy manufacturers continue to lead the country in the production of butter (3rd), Italian cheese (4th), all cheese (7th), low-fat ice cream (8th), and milk sherbet (9th); and
WHEREAS, Dairy Month offers an opportunity to honor farm families and the food processors who provide consumers with a wide variety of fresh, wholesome dairy products that provide essential nutrients to growing bodies and are a vital part of a healthy diet; and
WHEREAS, milk was named the official beverage of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on April 29, 1992, by the Pennsylvania General Assembly; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania is proud of its dairy industry and the important contribution it makes to our economy and the welfare of our citizens. We salute dairy farmers and their families for the strength and vitality they bring to rural communities throughout the commonwealth, and their commitment to using advanced technology for maximum efficiency.
THEREFORE, In recognition of our thriving dairy industry, I, Edward G. Rendell, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim June 2010 as DAIRY MONTH in Pennsylvania. I encourage all citizens to enjoy the commonwealth's official beverage and other dairy products while recognizing the industry's contributions to our economy and our health.
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, this first day of June in the Year of our Lord two thousand and ten, and of the Commonwealth the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
Edward G. Rendell, Governor
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture