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How Illinois is celebrating dairy

The Illinois Milk Producers Association has a full summer ahead, celebrating National Dairy Month in June and advocating for dairy farmers in Washington, D.C.

Betty Haynes

May 18, 2023

2 Min Read
dairy cattle at feed bunk
MILK: Over the past 60 years, dairy producers have doubled production with fewer cows. That, says the Illinois Milk Producers Association, is a sign of the industry’s commitment to sustainability and technology. Cee Lee Photography

June is National Dairy Month, and across the country, folks are celebrating dairy farmers and dairy products. The Illinois Milk Producers Association has several plans to promote dairy in Illinois in June and into July.

Tasha Bunting, Illinois Farm Bureau associate director of commodity and livestock programs and IMPA executive director, says to look for social media posts highlighting dairy products, recipes and Illinois dairy farmers.

“Dairy month is a great time to highlight the industry and the work of our dairy men and women,” Bunting says. “I love seeing the connection to dairy farmers and learning more about their stories.”

IMPA is also planning a dairy donation event, where the association will donate milk to local food banks for area residents.

“Our goal with the program is to be able to help provide dairy to communities in need,” Bunting explains. “We are excited about this new project and look forward to expanding it in the future.”

IMPA will host its annual Dairy Tech Tour in July, showcasing the latest and greatest dairy industry technologies.

“The tech tour is a great opportunity for dairy farmers to learn and get advice from one another on implementing new programs on their dairy farms,” she says.

Bunting adds that dairy will also be at the center of policy discussions this June and July.

As farm bill discussions increase, changes to the Federal Milk Marketing Order will take priority to benefit both dairy farmers and processors. The Federal Milk Marketing Order is how the price dairy farmers receive for their milk is determined.

“With the change in the farm bill, the COVID-19 pandemic really showcased that the current formula is not as beneficial to our dairy farmers,” Bunting says. “Conversations have been occurring on how to improve that — whether that’s going back to the formula that was implemented before the last farm bill or making some other adjustments.”

There are also several dairy processors in Illinois, which adds the need for discussion about what processors charge to make dairy products for retail.

“There are concerns that if they [discuss] one and not the other, it will harm either the farmer or the processor,” Bunting says. “It needs to be a conversation that includes both sides.”

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About the Author(s)

Betty Haynes

Betty Haynes is the associate editor of Prairie Farmer. She grew up on a Menard County, Ill., farm and graduated from the University of Missouri. Most recently, Betty worked for the Illinois Beef Association, entirely managing and editing its publication.

She and her husband, Dan, raise corn, soybeans and cattle with her family near Oakford , Ill., and are parents to Clare.

Betty won the 2023 Andy Markwart Horizon Award, 2022 Emerging Writer, and received Master Writer designation from the Ag Communicators Network. She was also selected as a 2023 Young Leader by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists.

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