How Not to Celebrate National Dairy Month

June 15, 2020

Using it as a hook for a nondairy product pitch is not a good idea.

This morning I saw two things pertaining to dairy farmers. One was a news story in the Wall Street Journal about how the coronavirus pandemic is squeezing them. Even though retail sales of cow’s milk have risen more than 7% since March from the same period last year, they’re hurting badly because of lost foodservice sales. Roughly a quarter of America’s milk got turned into cheese for pizzas, cheeseburgers, etc. Much of that business is gone, as is almost all the liquid milk business for schools and other institutions.

COVID just exacerbates the problems dairy farmers have been having for years with declining demand. It’s no accident that the two biggest milk processors in America, Dean Foods and Borden, have gone belly-up.

The second thing was an email reminding me that June is National Dairy Month, “a moment in time each year where we pause to celebrate America’s dairy farmers and the dairy foods that nourish people.” Only it turned out to be a pitch for nondairy milk!

The person who sent it signed herself “Intern.” Well, that’s what she’s there for, to learn. I just hope this email doesn’t find its way into the hands of any dairy farmers, or she may learn a few new words.