Mercer breakfast kicks off June Dairy Month
(First Appeared in the June 1 issue of The Farmer’s Pride)
By Ray Bowman
Larry Yeager says the Mercer County dairymen have been using the last Saturday in May to kick off the observance of June Dairy Month for about 11 years now. The first celebrations were held in the community of Salvisa, but more recently they have moved a little closer to Harrodsburg.
Things started early, around 6:30 AM, with Cloud’s Country Kitchen serving up mountains of scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage with biscuits and gravy, coffee, and – of course – gallons of milk.
“We usually see about 400 folks come through here in the course of the morning,” Yeager estimates.
Activities included appearances by local dignitaries, music and a milking contest featuring Kentucky Kate, a life-size, fiberglass, milkable cow provided by the Kentucky Dairy Development Council (KDDC).
The $5.00 admission fee entitled visitors to breakfast and a chance at a door prize. The proceeds from the ticket sales go to benefit the Mercer County Fair Dairy Show.
The breakfast may have been the unofficial opener for June Dairy Month, but Governor Matt Bevin put his signature to the official proclamation designating the month on May 30th.
“There’s a lot of folks involved in the dairy industry, from producers and processors to marketers, and we like to take this month to show appreciation to all those people and promote the dairy products that are produced, not only here in Kentucky but everywhere,” according to Maury Cox, executive director of the KDDC.
Cox says Kentucky has a lot to be proud about when it comes to the dairy industry in the Bluegrass State. “In the March edition of the national magazine Hoard’s Dairyman, Kentucky ranked first in the nation for increased production per cow.”
“Kentucky also ranks first in milk quality out of eleven southeastern states,” Cox continued “which indicates there is also a tremendous focus on quality as well as production per cow.”
Kentucky’s commitment to dairy excellence is also reflected in the education and research being done here in the Commonwealth. From May 30-June 1, the University of Kentucky is partnering with the University of Minnesota to bring the Precision Dairy Farming Conference and Expo to Lexington.
The conference program will take a very practical approach, including dairy producer showcase sessions, many industry updates, and talks about how research impacts dairy management. The trade show will be an opportunity to see first-hand what companies have to offer in the growing field of precision technologies and equipment.
Several counties will recognize the importance of the dairy industry to Kentucky during the month with appreciation dinners and other observances. For baseball fans, June 15th will be Kentucky Proud Legen-Dairy Night with the Lexington Legends at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington and June 22nd will be Dairy Night with the Bowling Green Hot Rods at Bowling Green Ballpark.