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Virginia Cooperative Extension - Knowledge for the CommonWealth

National Dairy Month

Dairy Pipeline: June 2007

John Welsh,
Extension Agent, Rockingham County
(540) 564-3080;

As we come to yet another June perhaps it is time to reflect on the purpose and effectiveness of the “June is Dairy Month” effort. The effort by dairymen to encourage greater use of dairy products dates back to 1937. Originally it was termed National Milk Month but by 1939 it had acquired the familiar name “June is Dairy Month.” Over the years many slogans have been used to plug dairy products. 60 years ago, in 1947, the slogan was “30 days for ADA”, somewhat similar to the “3-a-Day” slogan used today. Over time the goal has been the same and was perhaps best summed up in 1947 as “sales not surplus.”

This begs the question as to how effective our promotional efforts and the June is Dairy month efforts have been. Thestructure of the dairy industry has changed from one of local supply and demand to national
and now global implications. One could hardly look at the current situation and surmise thatour promotional activities have kept up with the Nation’s ability to produce milk. On the flip side, what would it be like if the dairy industry had chosen to do nothing? It is easy to assume that foods that are a staple of the American diet will stay there over time. Clearly this is not the case. For example how many ads for lamb have you seen lately, how many of you have actually eaten lamb in the last year?

Dairy products have to compete for their spot in the diets of consumers. June also happens to be National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, National Ice Tea month, National Seafood Month and National Soul Food Month.

Local promotional events during June is Dairy Month help remind consumers that dairy products deserve a spot in their food budget. They also foster good will towards local dairymen and agriculture in general. Contact your local dairy extension agent to get involved with a project in your area.

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