1 June 2014 - Salute Dairy Farmers in June

You know that I have the highest regard for all farmers and ranchers and their families in America, the people who produce our food, fiber and energy. But if you read my book, “You Can’t Dream Big Enough”, you also know that I grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. That is why, every year, I ask your indulgence to allow me to salute dairy farmers and the dairy cows of America during June Dairy Month.

I do it because it is my background and I’m very much aware of the 365-day commitment it takes every year, but I also do it because it is the longest running food promotion program in the United States. It started as National Dairy Month back in 1937 and then evolved into June Dairy Month and today we spend the month saluting the dairy industry. So, we say ‘Thank You’ to the families that take care of the cows, we say ‘Thank You’ to the cows for producing and providing us with good, healthy nutrition in the form of milk and all of the other dairy products that we enjoy throughout the year.

There are many ways that you can salute America’s dairy farmers because they stage special events during June Dairy Month to highlight the many things they do to add to our quality of life. One of the very popular programs which happens in many states, but probably more so in Wisconsin-America’s Dairyland than any other state, is the “June Dairy Month Breakfast on the Farm” event.

If you live in a community where you have the opportunity to enjoy breakfast on a dairy farm on a beautiful June morning, by all means do it. You may enjoy fellowship with as many as 4,000 of your friends and neighbors and for a minimal price feast on cheese, buttered toast with homemade jellies and jams, scrambled eggs with bacon and sausage and to top it off, ice cream for breakfast! Doesn’t get any better than that!

But beyond the fellowship and good food, you will have the opportunity to see a modern dairy farm at work, it’s far different than the 30-cow dairy that was home to me in the 40's and 50's. You’ll see the care and comfort the dairy farm family provides their cows, the steps they take to keep the herd healthy and productive, and the modern equipment to preserve the quality of the milk that is never exposed to air from the time it leaves the cow until you open the container in your home.

Yes, it is a time to celebrate the beginning of summer and the salute to the dairy industry, a salute now in its 77th year. So I urge you, as I do every year during June Dairy Month... take a dairy cow to lunch, and thank the dairy farmers of America.

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