By Justin Walker
Milk. Cheese. Yogurt. These items are regularly in my shopping cart, but they get their start on dairy farms like those right here in the Lone Star State.
Although National Dairy Month is in June, February is a good time to recognize our dairy farmers. For their early morning milkings. Late night feedings. And working sun up to sun down. All to deliver a quality product for us—their consumers.
Yet, dairy farmers often fall under attack.
“Undercover” videos of alleged animal abuse are sometimes seen on social media. The people who commit these acts are the exception. A handful of bad actors do not represent the majority of dairy farmers.
Many myths also surround dairy products. One of those is that milk has too many hormones.
According to Best Food Facts, there are only 15 ng of hormones in eight ounces of milk, compared to more than 342 million ng in eight ounces of soy flour or more than 51 million ng in eight ounces of tofu.
And how about this—some folks believe dairy products are unhealthy for human consumption. That’s a load of bull. I don’t know about you, but I believe foods and drinks with loads of calcium, potassium and vitamin D are healthy. Thanks, dairy farmers!
According to ChooseMyPlate.gov, consuming dairy products improves bone health and is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Sounds like a win in my book!
The fact is dairymen and women in Texas and across the nation are doing their best to raise animals with their care in mind, because a healthy animal is a profitable animal.
And the dairy industry is key for our economy.
Texas is the sixth largest dairy-producing state in the nation and brings in an estimated $3.3 billion. Milk is ranked third in Texas agricultural commodities for its impact on our economy, according to the Texas Association of Dairymen.
Every month is a dairy good month if you ask me. And this Februdairy, I’ll raise a glass of cold milk to those hard-working men and women. I hope you do, too.