June is an eventful and versatile month—the start of warm summer days, school vacations, and holidays like Father’s Day and Flag Day. We also celebrate many unusual observances in June such as Heimlich Maneuver Day, National Yo-Yo Day, and National Donut Day. But who can enjoy a donut without a nice, cold glass of milk? June is the perfect month to combine the two as USDA joins the rest of the country in celebrating National Dairy Month.
For more than 75 years, we have celebrated dairy and all of its goodness during June. What started out as National Milk Month in 1937 to promote milk consumption and stabilize the dairy demand has turned into a month-long celebration and tradition that acknowledges the dairy industry’s contributions to the United States and around the world.
Dairy has played an important role in America’s history since before the Revolutionary War, but it was not until the early 1900s that the U.S. dairy industry began to change dramatically. Many scientific advances and processes radically changed the industry, including pasteurization, the development of the centrifugal separator that removes milkfat and allows the manufacturing of more dairy products, and the Babcock test that determines milk fat content. When it comes to dairy products, our country has a rich history. 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 serving cheese at a family graduation party or wedding or just eating yogurt every morning, you are supporting our country’s dairy farmers and getting many nutritional benefits. Studies have demonstrated the positive role milk plays in children’s development. Consuming low-fat and fat-free milk and dairy products also provides important protein for adults, reduces the risk of bone disease and fractures, and may help reduce the risk of getting cavities.
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 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. Our export specialists help the rest of the world enjoy America’s delicious dairy products.
We also work closely with the National Dairy Council (NDC), which was founded 100 years ago by America’s dairy farmers. The NDC, with its strong foundation in science, focuses on health and wellness, child nutrition and well-being, and alleviating food insecurity. In addition, the national Dairy Promotion and Research Program and the Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Program, which AMS oversees, offer great data and fun ways to get people excited about eating dairy products.
So let’s all raise our cold glasses of milk (with or without the donut) in celebration of National Dairy Month!