In celebration of June Dairy Month and the contribution of the state’s more than 1,300 dairy farm families to the communities and economy of California, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has proclaimed June as “Real California Milk Month.” This regional distinction is in addition to the annual National Dairy Month celebration that recognizes the range of dairy products and the farmers who produce the milk that helps feed the nation and, increasingly, the world.
In the proclamation, Governor Brown states, “The landscape, economy, health, and nutrition of California would not be the same without our dairy farms. I urge all Californians to take time to appreciate the privilege of living in one of the world’s great dairy-producing regions, and to support our industry by buying milk and other dairy products from our Golden State.”
Ninety-nine percent of California dairy farms are family-owned. California produces more fluid milk, butter, ice cream, nonfat dry milk, and whey protein concentrate than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese and yogurt. Dairy products made with California milk can be identified by the Real California Milk seal, launched in 2007, which certifies that the products are made exclusively with milk produced on California dairy farms.
“Beyond the contribution our dairy families make to their local communities, California dairy is an essential part of our identity as an agriculture state,” said John Talbot, CEO of the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB). “As the state’s leading agricultural commodity, the industry adds approximately $21 billion to the local economy each year and is responsible for 32 percent of U.S. dairy exports and 189,000 jobs that are dependent upon dairy production and processing.”
Dairy producers are dedicated to creating access to healthy foods. It is part of the legacy of the dairy industry, which provides education about healthy eating and the five food groups to teachers, children, and families through Dairy Council of California and support for initiatives like the Great American Milk Drive, a partnership with Feeding America to provide families in need access to fresh fluid milk, one of most requested but least donated food bank items.