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Ice cream, you scream...

Kylee Dummer (left) and Ryanna Thorson enjoyed ice cream bars at St. Mary's Catholic School on Monday afternoon. The treats were provided by the Douglas County Dairy Association and Scwann's in honor of June Dairy Month. (Echo Press photo by Lowell Anderson)

The Douglas County American Dairy Association kicked off June Dairy Month by giving out ice cream treats to students at St. Mary’s School in Alexandria Monday.

The association partnered with Schwan’s to provide the treats while raising awareness about the importance of dairy in a nutritious diet.

National Dairy Month started out as National Milk Month in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk. The annual tradition celebrates the contributions the dairy industry has made to the world.


Milk is American’s number one food source for calcium, potassium and vitamin D.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends three servings of dairy a day.

All 50 states in the U. S have dairy farms; 97 percent of them are family owned.

An average dairy cow produces six to eight gallons of milk per day (125 glasses), or 2,000 gallons a year.

In Minnesota, there are 3,354 licensed dairy herds.

Minnesota dairy farms produced approximately 1,063 million gallons of milk in 2013.

Minnesota farms generate approximately $1.77 billion in milk sales annually.

Dairy products are the 4th largest agricultural commodity in Minnesota.

Minnesota is the 7th largest milk-producing state in the U.S.

Minnesota has 47 plants that process one or more dairy products.

It takes about 48 hours for milk to travel from the farm to the dairy case.

For more information, visit the Midwest Dairy Association website at

Tara Bitzan

Tara Bitzan is editor of the Echo Press. She joined the company in 1991 as a news reporter. A lifelong resident of Douglas County, Tara graduated from Brandon High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University. She and her husband, Dennis, and their children live near Alexandria.

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