Sat., June 2, 2018
Exodus 3:17 – and I promise to lead them out of their troubles. I will give them a land rich with milk and honey, where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.
In the United States, the month of June is celebrated as June Dairy Month. Folks are encouraged to discover a bit more about the health benefits of dairy products as well as how the dairy industry impacts their local economy. This is especially important for people like me, who live in America’s Dairyland. In Wisconsin, the dairy industry contributes $43.4 billion to Wisconsin’s economy each year. Every Wisconsin resident benefits from the economic ripple effect of family dairy farms that dot the state’s landscape.
Friday was June 1st – the official beginning of dairy month. How did the Vielhuber’s celebrate? We hosted a neighborhood ice cream bar.
About 20 of our neighbors stopped by our house Friday night for dessert and drinks. The main attraction was build your own sundaes with a variety of ice cream and topping choices. The most popular option for the evening: homemade grasshoppers, a minty ice cream drink. With other dessert treats and a lovely cheese and crackers tray, our June Dairy Month-based gathering was super simple to host and a lot of fun.
The dairy industry is very cyclical. For the last three years, nationally, the industry has been at the bottom of the cycle with thousands of family farms struggling. You won’t find anyone who is more passionate about their work or willing to work long, hard hours than the folks who operate a dairy farm. Every dairy farm I know is deeply concerned about producing a safe and wholesome product for consumers.
I grew up on a small Wisconsin dairy farm. Our family depended upon selling milk which was made into cheese as our main source of income. Being raised in this setting taught me many things: hard work, how to problem solve and persistence. From a very young age, I observed the cycle of life. I also knew what I did on our little operation made a difference. Growing up in this environment, I witnessed many things we read about in scripture: the cycle of growing crops, dependence upon the land, how to be a good shepherd. For me, the intersection of where and how I grew up is deeply linked to the basis of my faith in God.
For this, I am grateful.
It’s summer and a great time to discover locally-produced dairy products in your neck of the woods. Find a local dairy operation and take a tour. Indulge in your favorite ice cream treat a couple extra times this month. Explore the many great cheese options that abound. This supports the U.S. dairy industry, which would appreciate a little boost right now. Or, host a neighborhood build your own sundae event. I think you’ll be glad you did!
Lord God – Thank you for designing creation is such a unique and special way. For creating animals that provide food for us and help us sustain our bodies. Help us to see how your creation is part of our daily lives. Amen.
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