June is National Dairy Month: Let's Celebrate with Local Ice Cream

I moved to Minnesota in 1998, and was surprised by the ready availability of great local ice cream and frozen treats. Why should a state that's cold for seven months of the year specialize in a warm-weather treat? Soon, I stopped wondering why and just appreciated it.

It's not so mysterious, though. Minnesota's dairy farms provide about 40,000 jobs, and produced 776 million pounds of fresh milk in April 2010. (Wisconsin produces about three times as much: 2.2 billion pounds!) In addition to milk, dairy farmers help to provide cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream and other frozen treats. (In the U.S., dairy usually refers to milk produced by cows, but worldwide, dairy is produced by sheep, goats, yaks, buffalo, and horses.)

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