By Dan Richter, Public Information Officer
A commentary by Secretary Randy Romanski of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)
MADISON, Wis. – June Dairy Month is a special time in Wisconsin. As summer starts, we celebrate the many hardworking Wisconsin farmers and processors who make our state a leading source for quality dairy products across the U.S. and worldwide.
Wisconsin’s dairy industry gives us much to be proud of and to be grateful for, both during June Dairy Month and all year long. Rooted in a history older than the state itself, dairy has played a pivotal role in Wisconsin’s past and continues to remain vital today, contributing to both our economy and to our way of life, from Bayfield down to Beloit and from Hudson to Bailey’s Harbor. The industry will remain integral to our future, thanks to farmers and processors across the state, and consumers across the world.
There are thousands of dairy farms in Wisconsin which account for nearly a quarter of all dairy farms in the U.S. It is the dedicated individuals who work on these farms, haul milk, process dairy, and sell the finished products, who contribute to our state’s $45.6 billion annual dairy economy. They have also helped to make Wisconsin the number one state in the nation in total cheese production, with 25 percent of all cheese in the U.S. being made right here in the state.
We can also be proud that Wisconsin’s dairy products are well-known and appreciated far beyond our own borders. Later this month, DATCP staff and I will travel to the United Kingdom for a weeklong agricultural trade mission. During that time, we will facilitate buyer meetings, make store visits, attend marketing briefings, and meet with government officials to market and promote Wisconsin agricultural products to various industry and economic development organizations in the UK. This work is supported by the Wisconsin Initiative for Agricultural Exports, and I am hopeful that this effort will increase connections with buyers across the Atlantic Ocean, helping to create additional business opportunities for Wisconsin’s agricultural producers and processors.
This June, I encourage all of you to support our state’s dairy industry by choosing Wisconsin-made milk, butter, yogurt, ice cream, and cheese. You can also attend one of the many June Dairy Breakfasts happening around America’s Dairyland throughout the month. These events allow attendees to visit and learn about local farms while enjoying a delicious breakfast made with fresh Wisconsin dairy. To find a farm hosting one of these events near you, visit https://www.wisconsindairy.org/national-dairy-month/Dairy-Breakfasts.
To learn more about how DATCP works to serve and support Wisconsin’s thriving dairy industry year-round, visit datcp.wi.gov. As I raise a glass of ice-cold milk, I wish everyone across Wisconsin a happy June Dairy Month!