by Polly Festa, Livestock Manager
herd heard? June is National Dairy Month, and as a former Herkimer County First Alternate Dairy Princess and New York Jersey Queen, this month evokes fond memories of trying to figure out how to get chocolate ice cream stains out of my sash. In Upstate New York, almost every county has a Dairy Promotion Board. Though one of the many things we did to promote the benefits of dairy was to hold ice cream socials, we also went to area schools to teach about dairy products and farming. Times have not changed since my teenaged years; now, far away from my home county of Herkimer, New York, I still am an “ambassador” for Dairy.
I am thrilled to be able to continue teaching people about the dairy industry and the small role that the Accokeek Foundation plays in it. By preserving American Milking Devons, the Foundation helps preserve the gene pool of all dairy cattle. While we don’t milk our cattle here at the Foundation, some of our gals are destined to become a family milk cow. (I know of a family farm in Sharon Springs, New York that is cross breeding with Devons to create the perfect grass-based dairy herd.)
In honor of Dairy Month, here are some fun facts for you to share about dairy (make a game out of it and see if anyone in your family can answer any of these!):
- An average cow produces about 350,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime.
- To get the same amount of calcium provided by 1 quart of milk, you would have to eat 3.5 pounds of peas, 27 oranges, or 50 slices of whole wheat bread.
- A cow has 4 stomachs and 24 teeth.
- Milk is better for cooling your mouth after eating spicy food than water because of the protein casein; it cleanses the taste buds.
- A gallon of milk weighs 8.59 pounds.
- It takes 10 pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese.
- Vanilla is America’s favorite ice cream flavor.
- Americans eat the equivalent of 10 acres of pizza every day!
And it wouldn’t be Dairy Month with out sharing a classic Dairy Princess specialty…
The MAGIC COW!!
Take one cup of cold milk;
add two heaping teaspoon’s of your favorite sweetened Kool Aid mix;
stir, and voilà you have a magic cow! Enjoy.