June is dairy month and the public is invited to celebrate Iowa’s dairy farmers and their delivery of wholesome and nutritious supply of milk and dairy products.
There are about 1,400 dairy farms in the state and about 99 percent of them are family-owned.
According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service 2012 Census of Agriculture, dairy is the fifth-largest agricultural business in Iowa, generating $4 billion a year in economic activity.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering several educational opportunities across the state to learn about dairy farming first-hand.
“Our goal is to create the next generation of dairy lovers,” said Leo Timms, Morrill professor of animal science and extension dairy specialist with Iowa State University.
Visitors are given an opportunity to get inside a dairy barn and see the commitments to animal well-being, environmental stewardship and production of high quality, safe milk and dairy products.
The dairy month open houses also include face-to-face conversations with farmers and on-farm milking demonstrations.
“Consumers need to know about local dairy products and the work it takes to make Iowa 12th in the nation for milk production, Timms says.”