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Celebrating All Things Dairy for National Dairy Month

Posted by Dana Coale, AMS Dairy Programs Deputy Administrator in Initiatives Food and Nutrition
Feb 21, 2017
People of all ages can participate in National Dairy Month.  Visit the National Dairy Council’s website for some great dairy-based recipes.
People of all ages can participate in National Dairy Month. Visit the National Dairy Council’s website for some great dairy-based recipes.

During June, we often celebrate many things: National Homeownership Month, the end of the school year and graduations, Father’s Day, and being able to watch our favorite teams duke it on the baseball diamond.  But at USDA we have another favorite June celebration – National Dairy Month. The National Dairy Month celebration actually began in 1937 as National Milk Month, a way to encourage Americans to include milk as part of their daily diet.  A few years later, the event was renamed National Dairy Month, incorporating other dairy products into the celebration.

When it comes to dairy products, our country has a rich history.  Cheese has been a part of American diets since the Pilgrims first landed and some historians trace its origins back 4,000 years.  The versatility of dairy products makes it easy to participate in this month-long celebration. The National Dairy Council has some great recipes for dairy-based foods.

Whether you’re throwing a wine and cheese party or simply starting off each morning with your favorite yogurt, you are not only supporting our country’s dairy farmers, you’re also getting several nutritional benefits. Countless studies have demonstrated the positive impact milk plays in children’s development.  But drinking milk also provides important protein for adults to help rebuild their muscles after a workout, reduces the risk of bone disease and fractures, and may help reduce the risk of getting cavities.

Eating frozen yogurt is a great way to celebrate National Dairy Month and transition into National Ice Cream Month during hot summer days. Send a Tweet telling your favorite cheese or flavor of ice cream to: @USDA_AMS. Photo courtesy of Mitch59

Here at USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), we do our part to make sure you can enjoy dairy products in June and throughout the rest of the year.  AMS graders use internationally recognized standards to ensure that quality cheese and other dairy products are sold in retail establishments.  Our market news specialists create reports that offer valuable information to help dairy producers and businesses make informed buying and selling decisions.

We also work with the National Dairy Council, who with the help of several other partners, teaches children about the importance of healthy eating habits and regular exercise in its Fuel Up to Play 60 program.  The national Dairy Promotion and Research Program, which AMS oversees, offers great data and finds fun ways to get people excited about eating dairy products.

As the end of the month approaches, we are glad to announce that the dairy celebration will continue during National Ice Cream Month in July.  We encourage you to visit the International Dairy Foods Association site for more information on this celebration and its history.

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Jun 27, 2012

are you going to celebrate the cruelty in the dairy industry? play recordings of the mother cows screaming in fear and worry for their calves that are taken from them the minute they're born? will you celebrate in honor of the bull calves--who are not only ripped from their mother's side--but also have their legs broken to be stuffed into a crate, fed enough to keep them alive --till they can be slaughtered for veal? will you be celebrating the infected teats of all the milking cows who are on the milking machines for so long, there's pus in every gallon of milk people drink? got pus? THE DAIRY INDUSTRY IS ANIMAL CRUELTY AT ITS WORST. Celebrate dairy alternatives--and first do NO HARM.

Jul 09, 2012

Could someone please convey to "rene" that good animal husbandry is required in order to operate any livestock business, dairy included. Animals are not routinely, nor intentionally harmed on farms- in fact, the opposite is true. If dairy animals were as ill-treated in the manner that the responder implied, those facilities would not be able to operate efficiently enough to survive, as good animal health is key to a successful operation. Also, animals sent to slaughter MUST be able to walk in, or they are rejected for human consumption; therefore, there would be no point in causing a calf to suffer for the purpose of veal production as it would be rejected. Milk is strictly monitored by many organizations for quality purposes and very stringent guidelines are in place to protect consumers before the milk ever reaches the marketplace. Not only milk processing facilities monitor milk quality. Both state and federal inspections take place on-site, which include both water and feed quality for livestock consumption, and the quality of the facilities in which they are kept. The veal practices and milk quality issues "rene" outlines are certainly not "the norm" in the dairy industry. Projecting that image on our country's agricultural sector is hurtful and destructive, like using a grossly inaccurate stereotype to classify other occupations and industries in an all-encompassing manner.

Jul 17, 2012

I posted a comment on July 9, 2012 concerning "rene"'s response to this article, the ONLY post listed for this article. My comment has been awaiting moderation since that time. My concern is that a potentially damaging post was submitted and remains yet today, and no other responses appear. Certainly there must have been posts with other perspectives on the dairy industry. I know my perspective is certainly NOT the same as "rene"'s. I had hoped other views would make "the cut". Thank you.

Jan 29, 2013

But not "raw" dairy, right?

Jul 11, 2019

I would like to know % of Pus allowed by USDA in the milk sold to consumers in the USA ?

Ben Weaver
Jul 12, 2019

@Anonymous - thank you for your question. The Food and Drug Administration provides data about cell count limits (pus) in milk. Please contact the FDA at 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332), or the FDA Public Affairs Office.