The end of the year is a good time to reflect on where we’ve been and what we’ve accomplished, and to set new goals for the year ahead.
We started 2019 with a bit of nostalgia
What once was old is new again. Home milk deliveries are back in demand. We were shown how delivering milk the old-fashioned way gets milk fresh from a local farm to homes in 48 hours or less during a ride-along on a delivery route.
We also took a trip down memory lane with the 1969 New York State Dairy Princess and learned from her dairy princess days remembered how the dairy pageant experience helped her build confidence and develop public speaking skills, and provided rather unique opportunities.
It’s always sad to see the annual New York State Fair end as we unofficially bid farewell to summer. We watched the butter sculpture dismantled and hauled away, but not wasted. The butter was recycled into energy and fertilizer.
We changed with the times
We set clocks forward again for more daylight in our day in March. Cows dig more daylight because they need 14 to 16 hours of light each day. Dairy farmers go out of their way to make sure there’s no disruption for cows as clocks spring forward with the return of Daylight Saving Time.
Modern times has school children taking part in virtual farm tours. On the virtual field trips in the spring and fall, students connected with farms in real-time. Live video streaming into the classroom from cameras on a dairy farm allowed students to visit a dairy farm without leaving their classroom and ask the farmer questions like, Do cows play?
The process of how cows are milked also has changed dramatically. Some farms are turning to robotic technology for the milking process. Cows milked at their leisure by robots have complete control over their day.
We had lots to celebrate!
In April, we honored Earth Day. This year themed ‘Protect Our Species,’ we learned why a working dairy farm family in Pennsylvania has taken to raising honey bees. Because every day is “Earth Day” for dairy farmers, we gained perspective on how dairy farmers are making a difference for the planet we all share.
50 years ago, future dairy farmer Skip Hardie was on a dairy farm hosting a legendary concert. He reminisced with us in celebration of the Woodstock 50th Anniversary in August.
In October, we celebrated National Farm to School Month with Smoothies for Students. The smoothies were made with local New York State milk and yogurt, using new smoothie blenders donated through a collaborative effort between the Dairy Council Health Foundation and Stewart’s Shops.
Ready to hit the reset button for 2020 and the new decade? We are!
American Dairy Association North East is one of 16 state and regional promotion organizations working under the umbrella of the United Dairy Industry Association. It is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council®, which has been conducting nutrition education and nutrition research programs since 1915. For more information, visit www.americandairy.com.