In celebration of June Dairy Month, the public is invited to help recognize Michigan's $14.7 billion dairy industry on June 15 on the southeast lawn of the State Capitol in Lansing.
Eight Michigan dairy processors will have displays and distribute free dairy product samples, including ice cream, milk, yogurt, cheese and butter cookies.
Dairy Foods Awareness Day is a free event, and it will take place rain or shine from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Michigan dairy food processors currently scheduled to attend are: Ashby's Sterling Ice Cream, Country Fresh, Dairy Farmers of America, Kroger, Michigan Milk Producers Association, the Michigan State University Dairy Store, Pointe Dairy, and Prairie Farms.
Attendees will also hear from and be able to meet two-time NCAA Division I and 12-time Big Ten Champion runner and Michigan State University (MSU) graduate Leah O'Connor, of Croswell.
State Representative Tom Leonard (R - District 93) will address event attendees at noon in the tent and read Governor Snyder's proclamation for June Dairy Month.
Dairy Foods Awareness Day is an annual event observing the impact Michigan's local dairy industry has on the state's economy and the role it plays in feeding its citizens.
The dairy industry is one of Michigan's leading agricultural segments, contributing upward of $14.7 billion annually to the state's economy. Michigan is home to nearly 415,000 dairy cows, which produce nearly 9.6 billion pounds of milk annually, ranking the state sixth in the nation for milk production. Michigan-produced milk is bottled for drinking or processed into cheese, yogurt and other dairy products at one of nearly 90 processing facilities located across the state, and surplus milk is exported to other states. Milk is always fresh and in season because it's produced all year long on Michigan's approximately 1,900 dairy farms, 97 percent of which are family-owned and -operated, and it routinely journeys from farm to processor to store within a 48-hour period.
"Michigan dairy processors and farm families are proud to be part of an industry that produces such a safe and wholesome food that continues to be a nutritional bargain for families at a cost of about 25 cents per glass," says Jason Wadaga, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Michigan Dairy Foods Association (MDFA), a trade and membership service organization representing the nearly 90 dairy processing plants located across the state that has sponsored and organized the annual event for more than 20 years.
"The annual Dairy Foods Awareness Day at the Capitol event expands awareness of and knowledge about the state's dairy processing industry and Michigan dairy farming, and it promotes the health benefits of incorporating three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products into our daily diets," Wadaga said.
For more information about this year's event, call Wadaga at (517) 485-1450.
To learn more about local hard-working Michigan dairy farmers and their families, visit Milk Means More.
It's projected that most Americans don't consume sufficient amounts of calcium from their diets, thus are not benefiting from optimal calcium absorption and nutrition. Since being introduced in 1939, National Dairy Month offers an opportunity to recognize and promote the important health benefits and valuable nutrients provided by consuming milk and dairy foods. National Dairy Month also provides a platform for encouraging Americans to reduce the risks of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, obesity and colon cancer through consuming dairy foods.