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Community Corner - Celebrating Delicious, Diverse Dairy

POSTED June 6, 2012 1:53 a.m.

Happy June! The sun is shining, kids are heading into summer vacation and the round of graduations, weddings and backyard get-togethers have just begun. Each June, in addition to these activities we take time to celebrate June Dairy Month – an observation of not only a delicious, diverse and nutritious food but also the dairy farm families who bring it to the table.

In California, we also celebrate with a proclamation by Governor Jerry Brown of “Real California Milk Month” to put the spotlight on these dairy families and the important role dairy plays in our state’s economy. In an agriculture state, dairy is our number one commodity. We produce more milk, ice cream, butter, yogurt and milk powder than any other state and we are the nation’s second largest producer of cow’s milk cheeses. In fact, California produced over 41 billion pounds of raw milk – more than one-fifth of the nation’s total production – in 2011 alone.

The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) is helping consumers celebrate Dairy Month with 30 days of tips, tools and recipes designed to showcase all of the delicious ways California dairy fits into today’s busy and active lifestyles. Did you know a cold glass of California milk can cool the heat from spicy foods? Or that California produced more than 1.3 billion pounds of Mozzarella cheese in 2011? That’s a lot of pizza topping! From breakfast to ballgames, date nights to on-the-go snacks for the whole family, California dairy has something to offer every day of the year, not just June. And there’s a dairy product for every taste and lifestyle – from fluid milk packed with nine essential nutrients – to ice cream and hundreds of varieties and styles of California cheese.

And we’re making it easier than ever for consumers to eat the recommended three-a-day of dairy at RealCaliforniaMilk.com where they can download our “30 Days of California Dairy” calendar as well as coupons for products with the Real California Milk and Cheese seals. Once there, they can also view and share recipes and tip sheets, participate in our search for America’s Best Dairy Recipes, “cow-i-fy” their favorite family portraits and view videos of California dairy producers.

Dairy products made with Real California milk can be identified by looking for the Real California Milk and Real California Cheese seals, which certify that the products are made exclusively with milk produced on California dairy farms. Ninety-nine percent of California dairy farms are family-owned. California’s dairy families are part of the community and proud to create a nutritious product for consumers to enjoy.

Join the June Dairy Month conversation on our Facebook page – Facebook.com/RealCaliforniaMilk or by following our Twitter feed @RealCalifMilk or checking out our June Dairy Month and other related boards at Pinterest.com/RealCalifMilk. We’re even giving away a prize for the best June Dairy Month “pins” shared on our Facebook page.

Jennifer Giambroni is the Director of Communications for the California Milk Advisory Board.

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