It’s so hard to believe that we’re already in the month of June and 2022 is almost halfway through. As I get older, I can definitely see what my elders meant when they said “the years go by.”
June is a special month for me. June is known as Dairy Month, and as a dairy farmer, it’s our month to really shine. As dairy farmers, we need to make sure we educate consumers about what milk really is.
Sometimes for me, I have to remember to step back and make sure the audience understands the basic facts about dairy and that all their questions are answered before I get into the more detailed aspects of it. industry.
With that, I think this month is the perfect time to make sure those who consume the products of our dairy cows really know what the industry is, where your milk and dairy products come from and how the dairy cow does its daily work.
Milk is nature’s most perfect food. Milk contains essential nutrients that are vital for our well-being. Some of these essential nutrients include calcium, protein, and vitamin A. For those of you who are very active or play sports, milk is a great recovery drink.
Milk and other dairy products are full of great components, but ultimately, without the dairy cow, we wouldn’t have these products. With that being said, let’s review some of the basic facts about the dairy cow.
The average dairy cow weighs about 1,500 pounds, eats about 100 pounds of feed, and drinks almost a tub full of water a day. Besides molars, cows only have teeth at the bottom and just a palate at the top. It is often said that cows have four stomachs, in reality they only have one stomach, but this is divided into four compartments.
The most common breed of dairy cow is the Holstein. This breed is your typical black and white spotted cow that you think of when you think of a dairy cow. There are seven dairy cow breeds: Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn and Red and White Holstein.
Although each breed is considered a dairy cow and produces milk, each breed has unique characteristics. For example, Guernsey has a high level of beta-carotene in its milk; Guernsey milk tends to be more yellow in color. Additionally, just like the human fingerprint, each dairy cow has its own unique color/stain pattern.
As the month continues, I hope you consider celebrating this festive dairy month by buying extra dairy, going out for ice cream, or supporting local dairy and buying milk from a local licensed producer. Whichever way you choose to celebrate, always remember that 95% of dairy farms in the United States are family owned. So when you buy dairy, you are supporting a hard-working family who take care of their animals’ needs every day, and where each of their cows is like a family to them.
With that, let’s raise a glass of iced milk to our dairy farmers!
Holler is a member of the Trumbull County Agricultural Bureau Board of Directors.