The month of June is just getting started, which means there is still time to hug your favorite dairy farmer to celebrate National Dairy Month.

National Milk Month started in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk during a time when milk production was at a surplus. The original theme was 'Keep Youthful - Drink Milk'.

With a focus on all the contributions that the dairy industry makes to the United States and the world, June became the official dairy month in 1939 and also became a way to celebrate and acknowledge the dairy industry and dairy farmers.

Today, National Dairy Month continues to evolve both in rural and urban communities. The month of June is often full of on-farm events inviting consumers to experience where their dairy products come from and how the cows are cared for in a "behind the scenes" manner. The Midwest Dairy Association provides a list of some of those "behind the scenes" events.

Being married to a dairy farmer, I have learned that dairy farmers are passionate about what they do. It's actually more of a lifestyle then a job, and it's a lifestyle that not only supports the local community, but the world as well. So raise your milk glass and give a toast to June Dairy Month and all dairy producers!  (And hug 'em if you know one!)

Steve KIKN

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