National Dairy Month Celebrates Contributions of Maine Dairy Farmers

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 3:40 PM EDT
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Maine is home to more than 200 dairy farms that care for herds of dairy cows, goats, and sheep and that steward 700,000 acres of farmlands. June is National Dairy Month, a time to celebrate the dedication of dairy farmers in providing quality milk. Cecilia Morin sat down with a County Dairy Farmer to gain insights into the dairy business and learn more about the importance of this month-long celebration.

“Dairy month back years ago it meant quite a bit because June was the time school was getting out, so they created June as dairy month to promote milk as school left you know then there was a surplus of milk years ago not so much as it used to be.”

Chase Dairy Farm covers 600 acres and is home to 100 cows. Vaughn Chase, Owner and Operator says the industry is always changing. One change he made was to go organic.

“We went organic in 2007 which has been a help because we do things a lot the old way.”

One challenge the milk industry has faced is a rise in the popularity of plant-based milk alternatives.

“Definitely had an impact you know my answer to that is to the people that want to go that way is my favorite saying for that is read the label all you got to do is read the label and compare the ingredients from one to another”

Chase says he knows some people have concerns about milk, but adds those concerns are often due to misconceptions.

“All milk is the same whether you do conventional or organic it’s all tested for antibodies there’s never been any antibiotics in milk. Milk is one of the safest most tested products there is.”

Earlier this month, Governor Janet Mills kicked off the month long celebration of dairy farmers in Augusta. The event celebrated the contributions of Maine Dairy Farmers to the economy. Mills said, “Dairy farms are a cornerstone of Maine’s agricultural industry, of our rural communities and of our economy as a whole.” Mills says Maine dairy farmers and creameries are estimated to provide 4,733 direct and 10,201 indirect jobs and generate $904 million in direct economic impact and $1 billion in indirect economic impact.

Cecilia Morin NewsSource8