By Nathan Smith

How would we get through the Texas summer without ice cream? Answer. We wouldn’t. That’s my solution for beating the scorching Texas heat anyway.

June brings sweltering temperatures to the Lone Star State—but it’s also time to celebrate National Dairy Month and the four-legged creatures that make it all happen.

Few things are better than enjoying a big scoop of Homemade Vanilla on a hot summer day. But behind that summertime treat and the hundreds of other dairy products we enjoy, there are hard-working dairy families (and cows) to thank.

The average dairy farm in Texas has 380 cows, produces almost one million gallons of milk per year and adds $3.03 million overall to the state’s economy. Best part of all is that Texas dairy products are safe. Milk and dairy foods are subject to 17 government-required and voluntary industry safety checks from farm to table.

Consider these dairy facts and their impact, courtesy of DairyMAX.

Milk does millions of bodies good:

  • Starbucks® uses two percent of the nation’s milk in their growing coffee drink business.
  • It takes more than 21 pounds of whole milk to make one pound of butter.
  • It takes 3 to 3 1/2 cups of broccoli to equal the calcium in one cup of milk.
  • One cow produces about 350,000 glasses of milk in its lifetime.

 Let’s behold the power of cheese:

  • U.S. cheese consumption reached a record high of 31.3 pounds per person in 2005.
  • Cheddar is the most popular natural cheese in the U.S. (On average, every American eats 9.39 pounds of Cheddar.)
  • More than one-third of all milk produced annually in the U.S. is used to manufacture cheese.
  • About 300 varieties of cheese are sold in the United States.

 We all scream for ice cream:

  • It takes 12 pounds of whole milk to make one gallon of ice cream.
  • Vanilla is America’s favorite ice cream flavor.
  • Ice cream’s origins go back as far the 16th century.
  • Americans buy 1.6 billion gallons of ice cream ever year (Texas produces over 200,000).
  • More ice cream is sold on Sunday than any other day of the week.

 No matter what your favorite dairy product is, June is the month for you. So take a moment and thank a cow. After all, where would we be without them?

It is National Dairy Month!