USDA celebrates 79th Annual National Dairy Month

Posted on Jun 6, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) celebrates the 79th annual National Dairy Month this June, highlighting the hard work and dedication of dairy farmers and the valuable nutrition milk and milk products add to Americans’ diets.

Kentucky has 643 licensed dairy farms1, and USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s most recent annual data on milk cows and milk production show that 61,000 milk cows produced more than one billion pounds of milk, or 126 million gallons, in Kentucky in 2015. Each cow produced more than 2,000 gallons of milk last year. A million pounds of Kentucky-produced milk was used to make cream and butter.

“Dairy farming is an important economic activity for Kentucky agriculture, generating more than $200 million in cash receipts to Commonwealth farms in 2015,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “Farm families work tirelessly to provide a safe, healthy and plentiful source of milk and dairy products.”

“Often these dairy farms are third- or fourth-generation farms,” said Anne Cain, communications director for Southeast United Dairy Industry Association. “These farmers are invested in their land and their communities. They value their way of life, working with their families, teaching their children hard work and the importance of caring for things and the environment.”

SUDIA also partners with the USDA, National Dairy Council and others to promote the largest in-school health program, Fuel Up to Play 60. Cain said Fuel Up to Play 60 emphasizes the importance of physical activity along with a healthy diet and access to nutritious foods, like dairy products.

“Chocolate milk is the official beverage of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association,” Cain said. “We provide coolers to high school coaches to keep in workout and training rooms, because chocolate milk has many of the necessary nutrients to repair our bodies after working out.”

Did You Know? 
A gallon of milk weighs about 8.5 pounds.
An 8-ounce glass of milk contains about eight grams of protein and 275 milligrams of calcium.
According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average American ate 8.5 pounds of ice cream in 2013, adding up to Kentuckians consuming more than 37 million pounds of the frozen treat that year. That’s nearly 70 million ice cream sundaes!
The average American eats 8.1 pounds of cheddar cheese each year; Kentucky consumed nearly 36 million pounds in 2013.
The average American eats 10.4 pounds of yogurt, meaning Kentuckians ate 46 million pounds of yogurt in 2013.
For more facts and figures about America’s consumption of all things dairy, visit http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-availability-(per-capita)-data-system/.aspx#26705.

To find out more about dairy farms and tour one in your state, visit http://www.southeastdairy.org/dairy-farming/farm-tours/.

NASS produces a comprehensive annual dairy report due out in April each year, and quarterly milk production reports throughout the year.