It is one of our favorite times of the year! June Dairy Month honors hardworking farmers who produce wholesome dairy foods. While dairy’s great taste is reason enough to celebrate, 2022 marks a milestone anniversary for St. Louis District Dairy Council (SLDDC), the organization charged with promoting dairy on behalf of farmers in Missouri and Illinois. Our “Ninety and on the MOOVE,” campaign designed to celebrate the 90-year milestone, reflects how the dairy industry and promotion efforts continue to move forward.

Dairy Farmers Moving Forward

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1923 was a game-changer for many farmers with the debut of the first milking machine, the Surge Milker. Farmers were filling milk cans (which could weigh 110 pounds each) and lugging them to storage, then loading them onto a truck once it was time for delivery. The “bulk milk tank” invention around 1948, freed farmers from the time consuming and backbreaking work of hauling milk cans. In the late 1990’s, cows began to milk themselves (sort of) with the development of automatic milking parlors or robotic milkers. “It’s fascinating to see the industry’s progress over the years and to be able to share these practices with students who may never step foot on a dairy farm,” states Maggie Cimarolli.

The Dairy Case Moving Forward

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The dairy industry continues to evolve and deliver new and improved products that address the shifting needs and priorities of consumers. Basic dairy options, such as low-fat milk, vanilla yogurt, and sliced cheddar cheese, have been on the shelves for decades and continue to provide 13 essential nutrients. High protein yogurt, ultra-pasteurized milk with an extended shelf life and fermented dairy (packed full of healthy bacteria), are all examples of innovative products that consumers are asking for. “Families can choose from a variety of dairy products to meet their taste and nutritional goals,” notes Maggie Cimarolli.

St. Louis Dairy Council Moving Forward

Since 1932, SLDDC has brought the story of dairy foods and farmers to life through local education programs. During its nine decades, Dairy Council programs have included milking demonstrations, butter churning, signage on public transportation vehicles, and even celebrity cow milking contests. Though the milking demonstrations of the early 1940s have given way to virtual classroom presentations and interactive displays, the organization remains committed to dairy promotion that is real, relevant and responsive. Today we promote the healthfulness of dairy in an engaging and personal way by sharing the latest research, collaborating with schools and community organizations and connecting with consumers via traditional and social media.

As we move through June Dairy Month, remember the health benefits that milk, cheese and yogurt deliver. Loaded with calcium, potassium, protein and phosphorus, dairy foods contribute significant nutrition to Americans’ diets. So grab a glass of chocolate milk, a stick of mozzarella cheese or a yogurt smoothie and get ready to cheer all-things-dairy all summer long! For more information on dairy’s health benefits, visit www.stldairycouncil.org or contact us: call (314) 835-9668 or e-mail MCimarolli@STLDairyCouncil.org. For delicious and nutritious recipes, check us out on Facebook and Instagram at STLDairyCouncil.

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