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June is dairy month; be sure to thank a dairy farmer!

Tue, Jun 1st, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

St. Paul (June 1, 2010) - June is a month to celebrate the dairy farming industry in Minnesota - dairy farmers supply us with milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter, and a rich variety of ingredients for our health.

"The dairy industry in Minnesota has a total annual output of $4.6 billion, and creates nearly 40,000 jobs," said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. "The dairy farmers provide our state with great resources and contributes to our economy, and yet they only make a quarter of the cost that you pay at the store for a gallon of milk."

Some statistics about our Minnesota dairy industry:

· there are 4,700 dairy farms in Minnesota, 99% of which are family owned;

· the average size of a milking herd in Minnesota is 101 cows;

· each cow in Minnesota produces an average of 6.1 gallons of milk per day, and more than 2,236 gallons over a year;

· collectively, Minnesota cows produce over 1000 million gallons of milk annually;

· our dairy farmers rank 6th nationally in milk production;

· dairy is the second largest livestock sector in Minnesota at 24 percent; and

· farmers only receive $1.37 on a $2.49 pound of cheddar cheese.

"Next time you are at the grocery store and grab that gallon of milk, or that block of cheese, be sure to think about where it came from and how hard our farmers work to provide us with nutritious dairy products," said Peterson.

Most of the statistics were courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Association.

Minnesota Farmers Union ( is a nonprofit membership-based organization working to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers, as well as rural communities.

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