Tennessee has roughly 200 operating dairy farms with the typical herd size of 160 milk cows.
By Leigh Anne Shull
Have you ever wondered how June Dairy Month began? It originally started as a way to distribute extra milk during the hot summer months. In 1937, grocery stores began recognizing it as National Milk Month. By 1939, June was officially named as June Dairy Month and is still recognized today.
There are still dairy farms across the United States and some of those dairies are located right here in Tennessee! Our state has roughly 200 operating dairy farms with the typical herd size of 160 milk cows. The top five milk producing counties in the state of Tennessee are: Loudon, Bradley, Monroe, Bedford & McMinn. A dairy cow in Tennessee produces an average of 2,002 gallons of milk in a year! In 2020, according to the Dairy Farm Families of the Southeast, the total amount of milk that was produced totaled around 64 million gallons- that’s a lot of milk!
Approximately 98% of dairy farms across the United States are owned and operated by families who have been farming for multiple generations. These families are committed to properly caring for their cattle so that they can continue producing delicious and healthy dairy products that supply our stores.
Milk and dairy products provide many healthy benefits that build strong bones. Nutrients that we get from the consumption of dairy products include calcium, potassium, proteins & Vitamin D. There are many ways that you can include dairy into your daily eating habits. You can start the day with a bowl of cereal with milk or add cheese to your sandwich or salad at lunch.
The next time you enjoy a cone of ice cream on a hot summer day or your favorite bowl of cereal in the morning, remember the hard work and dedication of the dairy farmers across the United States who work 365 days a year to provide you with the many dairy products that you enjoy.
For more information, be sure to visit the Dairy Alliance website where you can learn more about dairy farms & farmers, as well as find some tasty recipes to try!