An “Udderly” Amazing Year with Wisconsin Dairy
12 months ago when I was selected as the 75th Alice in Dairyland, I knew I was in for a special year. I was able to take some time last June to settle into the idea of having this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and now I am already beginning my final month in this role! This month will be filled with events throughout the state and ending with June Dairy Month, which could not be more perfect.
As this position’s name (and our state’s license plates) advertise, Wisconsin truly is America’s Dairyland. With our long history of dairy farmers dotting the countryside and our repeated ranking as the top cheese producing state in the nation, many of my events and tours this year involved dairy, with many more to come.
According to The Dairy Alliance, “National Dairy Month started out as a way to distribute extra milk during the warm months of summer. The commemoration was established in 1937 by grocer organizations sponsoring ‘National Milk Month.’ By 1939, June became the official ‘dairy month.’” Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin recognizes the month as “a celebration of Wisconsin dairy farmers and the industry that defines our state.”
From the on-the-farm dairy breakfasts around the state and the June Dairy Day at Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center to the Tour of America’s Dairyland bike race and the Dairy Products Contest judging at the State Fair, dairy will propel my travel around this great state all month long.
Looking back, dairy has propelled my travel for much of this past year! I started off strong last summer with an ice cream media campaign where I showed viewers how to make their own ice cream with just a few ingredients, a jar, and a freezer. This also inspired my first (of many) ice cream cones that I got to enjoy while traveling to new parts of the state.
The Wisconsin State Fair combined so many of our great commodities all in one place. I enjoyed learning about alpacas, cranberries, honey, and some of our Something Special from Wisconsin companies. The opportunity to learn more about Wisconsin Dairy and our farmers prevailed through all 11 days of the fair. From the goat and cow milking demos, to showing visitors the adorable calves in Dairy Lane, and enjoying delicious milkshakes, dairy makes an impact throughout the fairgrounds.
December brought along media highlights featuring a fantastic 12 days of Wisconsin dairy! Butter boards, cookies, and hot chocolate counted down the final days of 2022. All made with delicious Wisconsin products, it’s important to look for the “Proudly Wisconsin Dairy” badge or the number 55 on your dairy products to ensure you’re purchasing a local treat.
This first half of 2023 was highlighted with Girl Scouts earning their Wisconsin Dairy badges; making delicious charcuterie boards with the host of the 76th Alice in Dairyland Finals, Walworth County; and putting some of our cheeses head-to-head in my March Madness Cheese Bracket, naming cheese curds as Wisconsin’s favorite!
This year has been nothing shy of remarkable. Thank you to Wisconsin’s dairy farmers and processors for keeping my supply of dairy at an all-time high; thank you, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, for the support, resources, and guidance; and thank you, Wisconsinites, for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime. Now, let’s bring on June Dairy Month!