Happy June Dairy Month
June Dairy Month has been a great promotional event for the U.S. dairy industry for years, in that it calls our city slicker cousins back to their roots and back to the land where their food comes from (some think it comes from Safeway). June Dairy Month also provides great motivation to retailers to promote and specially price milk, cheese and ice cream. Advertising and promotion is a vital part of any industry that wants to see growth in demand for its products, in fact that’s truer today than ever.
It’s also my desire that it be a happy June Dairy Month for farmers as well as for consumers! Dairy farmers deserve a fair share of the retail dairy dollar and America’s long standing “cheap food policy,” and milk pricing policies should not come at the farmer’s expense; but that’s another issue for another day.
The dairy industry knows the importance of its customers and consumers, not just during June, but during the other 11 months of the year as well. And, the dairy industry has done more than just promote itself. It has taken steps to have something to promote, both from a health standpoint and by innovative new products via partnerships with various brand names around the country.
Milk and dairy products have answered criticism from respected and not-so respected health professionals in the past (and still does) over the fat issue primarily, but the industry didn’t just sit back and do nothing. Through the dairy producer check off program, important research was conducted to factually support the health claims that dairy products have long been associated with.
For example; there aren’t a lot of people today who believe that margarine is a better health choice than butter as checkoff funded research has turned the tables.
The popular “Fuel Up to Play 60” campaign is a partnership with the dairy check off, USDA, and the National Football League and thousands of schools across the country are involving themselves in this program as part of the fight against childhood obesity.
Continuing research holds promise for even more revelation about the wonderful nutritional package that is naturally found in milk and dairy products, not to mention the potential future use of milk and its components as nutraceuticals and work by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy will aid in the development of new foods and beverages with dairy a key ingredient.
Admittedly, milk still faces challenge as a beverage so the job isn’t over but milk is transforming itself and will therefore remain a vital part of a healthy diet, not just in America but countries around the world.
It’s a changing country and a changing world but the dairy industry is keeping pace and has its eyes on tomorrow so there’ll be another June Dairy month next year and the year after that and the year after that.