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Did You Know - Dairy!

Cheese, milk, sour cream, butter – in our house we use a lot of these, and so it is a running joke that for us, every month is “dairy month”.  In truth, June is National Dairy Month – and it gives everyone a great reason to truly celebrate and appreciate everything that dairy farmers help to provide in our everyday lives. 

In honor of National Dairy Month here are so “Did You Know” facts about dairy:

  • The average cow produces 70 pounds, or 8 gallons of milk per day.
  • One quart of milk weighs 2.15 pounds.
  • The average cow drinks between 30 and 50 gallons of water a day.
  • A dairy cow can produce 125 pounds of saliva a day.
  • Cows have one stomach with 4 compartments – they are the rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum.The abomasum is sometimes referred to as the true stomach and is the compartment most similar to our stomach.
  • Cows have 32 teeth – 8 incisors on the bottom front, six molars on the top and bottom of each side, and no teeth on top in front.
  • Milk comes in four primary types in the store:
    • Whole milk which is 3.5% milk fat
    • Reduced-fat milk which is 2% milk fat
    • Low-fat milk which is 1% milk fat
    • And fat-free or skim milk which is no more than 0.2% milk fat
  • A glass of milk contains three of the four nutrients that USDA deems under-consumed by most Americans – calcium, Vitamin D and potassium.
  • It takes about 23 pounds of milk to make one pound of butter.
  • It takes about 12 pounds of milk to make one gallon of ice cream.
  • Cows produce twice as much milk today as they did in the 1960s.
  • On average, each American east about 34 pounds of cheese a year, which adds up to more than a tone of cheese during a lifetime!
  • Americans eat an average of almost 15 pounds of yogurt a year, which is nearly triple what they ate twenty years ago.
  • Per capita ice cream consumption in the U.S. is 19 pounds a year and the top five ice cream flavors in the country are vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, chocolate chip and butter pecan.

Dairy farmers work extremely hard every day of the year – dairy farming is incredibly labor and time intensive (you can read more about that here and here).  If you get a chance this month, be sure to thank a dairy farmer for all of their work, and for all the delicious products they provide!
*Sources:  Dairy Council of California (,; Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom Dairy Facts, Green Meadow Farms, Inc. Cool Dairy Facts (; and
Monday, June 05, 2017
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