It’s Dairy Month!
For consumers (including me) Dairy Month is another excuse to eat a little extra ice cream, to try out a new dairy delicious recipe or to learn something new about dairy farming.
Here on the farm, Dairy Month has a whole different meaning because it takes place in June. In northeastern lower Michigan June is the unofficial beginning of the dairy year, and by that I mean it is when we start to plant or take off new feed and make plans for the rest of the year. For dairy farmers, the corn that we depend on is planted by June and we are able to start to see it growing in the fields. Another crop we begin to harvest on the farm in June is our hay. We can get three to four cuttings of hay here and we store that hay to be fed throughout the year, always hoping for enough to at least get us back to the first of June the next year, when we know we will be able to start harvesting again. After the drought last year, and being short on everything over the winter, seeing how beautifully the hay is growing in our fields right now is a huge blessing!
As a dairy farmer, I know I will especially appreciate Dairy Month this year, with the wounds of last year’s drought still healing, we have been looking forward to this new beginning for a while. Not only will this particular Dairy Month bring us opportunity to connect with consumers and share the love of what we do and the wholesome products we provide to a hungry world with the help of our cows, but it also brings the promise of a new beginning, and the relief that if the rest of the growing season continues this way, we can afford to keep doing what we love for another year.
Happy Dairy Month! I hope you will get out an ice cold glass of milk and celebrate with me!