As an Arkansas dairy farmer, I can truly say that June Dairy Month is a great time to celebrate not only dairy foods and the dairy industry, but also give recognition to the support that Arkansas dairy farm families have received from our state. Due to the rapid decline in the number of dairies in our state, the Arkansas legislature established the Arkansas Milk Stabilization Board in 2007 to work to ensure a minimum supply of milk for the population of our state. We truly received help to save our dairy farms in 2009 when the Arkansas legislature funded a two-year program to provide incentives to state dairy farmers with a goal to stabilize or increase milk production within the state. I can never express enough thanks for the support all Arkansas dairy farm families have received from Governor Beebe,the state legislators,and the members of the Arkansas Milk Stabilization Board.
Here are some current facts about dairy farming in Arkansas:
-there are approximately 130 dairy farms
-the average Arkansas dairy cow will produce 5 gallons of milk per day
-Arkansas dairy farms produce 17.9 million gallons of milk annually
-dairy is the 9th largest agricultural business in Arkansas,generating $20 million/year
-98% of all Arkansas farms are owned by families
I hope that we will always have dairy farms in Arkansas producing our state beverage--Milk!
You can learn more about Arkansas dairy history or dairy nutrition at http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/ or http://www.midwestdairy.com/.