June is Dairy Month

Now Media Group

A commentary by Lt Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

French Prime Minister Charles de Gaul once asked, 'How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?'

If Prime Minister de Gaul was alive today, he would probably be surprised to learn that our state has more than 600 different types of cheeses that come from more than 9,900 Wisconsin dairy farms (and yes, there can still be good governance!)

June is Dairy Month in Wisconsin, and it couldn't be a better time to brag about our state's dairy production and its contribution to our economy by visiting the farms where all the milk magic happens.

When you head out to the farm this June with your family and friends, remember to take some time to connect with the people and the animals supplying the country with dairy products.

Folks in Florida may be proud of their oranges and people in Idaho have their potatoes, but in Wisconsin, we produce more dairy than you can shake a stick at! In 2015, Wisconsin's dairy industry contributed 43.3 billion dollars to our state's economy. That's more than two times what oranges and potatoes contributed to Florida and Idaho's economies combined.

Wisconsin dairy exports even brought close to $1 billion into the state in 2014, a figure that has tripled over the last five years. In addition to being home to the 13-time world champion Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin brought home more awards during the 2016 World Championship Cheese Contest then all other states combined.

If you haven't already, check out a dairy breakfast taking place on a farm near you and remember, 96% of all Wisconsin dairy farms are family owned, which makes it a great place to take the kids and the grandkids for a morning of family fun. This year I'll visit three dairy breakfasts, so I hope we run into each other over pancakes, eggs and milk very soon!