Governor Mills Declares June Maine Dairy Month
June 1, 2022
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Governor calls on Maine people to support dairy farmers and creameries by purchasing Maine dairy products #ChooseMaineDairy
Augusta, MAINE - During a celebration at the Blaine House with farmers and producers with the Maine Dairy Industry Association, the Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council, and the Maine Cheese Guild, Governor Janet Mills today signed a proclamation declaring June Maine Dairy Month.
"Dairy farms are a cornerstone of Maine's agricultural industry, of our rural communities, and of our economy as a whole," said Governor Mills. "From milk to cheese to yogurt to ice cream, Maines dairy farmers work hard to deliver us delicious, world-class products that I am proud to celebrate and promote. I encourage Maine people to join me in appreciating Maine's dairy farms and our incredible dairy products as we celebrate Dairy Month in Maine. Doing so will not only taste good, but it will help our dairy farmers and our economy."
Maine is home to 176 dairy farms that care for herds of dairy cows, goats, and sheep and steward 700,000 acres of fields, pastures, and croplands. Because of their work, the state boasts award winning cheeses, yogurt, ice cream, and butter made exclusively with Maine milk and cream. Maine is among states where micro-creameries can heat-treat fresh and fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and cheeses, and sell to shoppers under a state dairy licensing program, which has helped establish nearly 80 micro-dairies. Maine dairy farmers and creameries provide 4,733 direct and 10,201 indirect jobs and generate $904 million in direct economic impact and $1 billion in indirect economic impact.
"We couldn't be more proud to celebrate our Maine dairy producers and processors during Dairy Month. Mainers can connect with dairy farms, cheese makers, and more on RealMaine.com and see for themselves how delicious these products are while directly supporting the farm families and businesses in Maine's dairy industry," said Nancy McBrady, Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources Director.
"Our working family dairy farms maintain open spaces that help make Maine picture-worthy, so when you raise a glass of Maine milk, or grab a dairy snack like Canty Cow frozen custard you're doing your part to maintain that amazing quality of place we all enjoy," said Betsy Bullard, Brigeen Farm and Canty Cow Creamery in Turner.
"Maine is unique in so many ways, especially in the support we have for agriculture, both conventional and organic, and the products grown and made here. The Governor's proclamation of June as Dairy Month is yet another example of this support. I feel fortunate to live and farm in a state that understands how far reaching our farm work is. Our dairies are truly the backbone of our rural communities. As we enjoy our ice cream this summer, I hope we call can think about the dairy farm family connected to our favorite products, and the care and effort that is exerted every day to feed our communities," said Annie Watson, Sheepscot Valley Farm in Whitefield, and Maine Organic Milk Producers president.
"Pineland Farms Dairy is excited to be celebrating Dairy Month. We strive to produce the highest quality cheese available using 100 percent fresh Maine milk. By purchasing locally produced cheese, you are supporting your local farms, your local economy, and a regional food system that is better for you and the environment," said Jim Lesser, Pineland Farms Dairy director of sales and marketing in New Gloucester.
"Maine dairy farms are the foundation for successful Maine creameries. Our cheesemakers are diverse and found throughout the state. The products from Maine dairy farms and creameries are found in restaurants, farmers markets and stores. You can meet cheesemakers and discover their award-winning cheeses at Open Farm Day in July, the Annual Maine Cheese Festival in September, and Open Creamery Day in October," said Heather Donahue, Balfour Farm in Pittsfield.
"Dairy Month is an excellent time to recognize the contributions that dairy farms make to the state of Maine, not only the production of nutritious and delicious local foods, but millions of dollars into the Maine economy, thousands of jobs, the stewardship of thousands of acres of farmland and small woodlands, and advances in soil health and sustainable agricultural practices," said Jami Badershall, Maine Dairy Promotion Board communications manager.
"As a Maine dairy farmer I am so grateful our neighbors trust us to put good food from our family farm on their family table. Our way of life wouldn't be possible and it couldn't be the way we make our living if we weren't surrounded and supported by our Maine community. We are so proud to be a part of the engine that drives our local and state economies, stewards the lands and waterways, cares for our communities, and is focused on being not just part of Maines sustainable future, but part of the solutions. Maine dairy isn't about yesterday, its about doing better today so that tomorrow is brighter for all. Our family is proud, along with 1/3 of Maine's dairy farm families, to be farmer owners of Cabot Creamery Cooperative, and be the change through our mission to sustainability, our B Corp commitment, and farmer gratitude to everyone that makes the world go around for good. Were so proud when folks choose Maine milk and dairy and no matter what month it is, we're already making more so its always in season," said Jenni Tilton-Flood, Flood Brothers Farm, Clinton.
"In celebration of Dairy Month this June, the Maine Cheese Guild is proud to highlight the award-winning cheese being produced from over 80+ commercial creameries. Cheese being made from the highest-quality milk, from animals nourished on Maine's lush rolling pastures, and cared for by 99% family-owned and operated dairy farms. To produce high-quality cheese, you must start with high-quality milk, and it doesn't get better than Maine dairy," said Holly Aker, Maine Cheese Guild president.
"We are pleased to be part of the celebration for Dairy Month and appreciate the recognition of how important our dairies are to the state of Maine. Maine dairy farmers are independent, and innovative, and it is reflected in the tapestry of how our farms are run and market themselves. They range the gamut from small operations of less than 10 cows, to those with hundreds of milking head. There is a strong influence of farm-to-table, on-farm processing, artisanal, and organic movements in our state. Maine sensibilities have led the way in humane treatment of animals and conservation-minded on-farm practices. One common thread that is woven through all Maine farms is that they are run by families. From the smallest to the largest these are operations that support families," said Tade Sullivan, Maine Dairy Industry Association Executive Director.