Wisconsin is America's Dairyland, and the Dairy Days of Summer have arrived. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) encourages everyone to celebrate this June Dairy Month.
"Wisconsin is known around the world for our productive dairy farms, extensive dairy processing and quality dairy products," said DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel. "This June, I hope Wisconsinites will join me in attending a farm breakfast where you can learn more about our farms, enjoy some delicious dairy products and have fun with the family."
Wisconsin is home to nearly 11,000 dairy farms, more than any other state in the country. Last year, Wisconsin's dairy cows set a record, producing 27.2 billion pounds of milk, a 4 percent increase over 2011.
What really sets the state apart is the quality of its dairy products. Approximately 90 percent of Wisconsin milk is used by our dairy processing plants for cheesemaking.
Wisconsin's nearly 1,200 licensed cheesemakers produce more than 600 types, styles and varieties of cheese. Wisconsin leads the nation in the production of specialty cheeses, such as Feta, Blue, Gouda and more.
The results of Wisconsin's success are in the books. At the 2013 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, Wisconsin won gold medals in 47 of the total 81 categories judged. That is more than any other state or nation.
The impact of the dairy industry benefits the entire state. Wisconsin's dairy industry contributes $26.5 billion to the state's economy, which circulates throughout our local communities.
Dairy means more to Wisconsin than citrus to Florida, $9.3 billion, or potatoes to Idaho, $2.7 billion.
The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board offers a website to help plan your June Dairy Month at http://www.dairydays
The interactive calendar allows you to search by date or location for a farm breakfast or dairy event. Use this resource to find a new tasty recipe to complete your family meal.
Wisconsin's dairy industry is not just part of our state's history. It's our future. With an infrastructure second to none, Wisconsin's dairy industry will continue to thrive, and that is something to celebrate.