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BANG! The drum for dairy month

It wouldn’t be right to take time to salute the beef industry without doing the same for the dairy industry. After all, what goes better with a nice steak than a dish of ice cream? As a salute to the hard-working families of the dairy industry, I offer you 10 facts to wow your non-ag friends and family.

  1. The oldest cow ever recorded was a cow named Big Bertha. She died 3 months short of her 49th birthday on New Year’s Eve in 1993. Big Bertha was a Droimeann, a native Irish, dual-purpose breed.
  2. The average cow produces enough milk each day to fill 6 1-gallon jugs. That’s 55 lbs. of milk (each gallon of milk weighs 8.6 lbs.).
  3. A dairy cow can produce 125 lbs. of saliva a day, that’s roughly 15 ½ gallons.
  4. A Holstein’s spots are like a fingerprint. No two cows have the exact same pattern of black and white spots.
  5. According to the NASS 2012 census, there are 17.5 million dairy cattle and calves in the US on 64,098 farms.
  6. There are approximately 350 squirts in a gallon of milk. (Anyone else have a sore hand thinking about that?!)
  7. A cow gives enough milk to make 6 gallons of ice cream a day.
  8. There are thousands of flavors of ice cream available worldwide. The most popular are vanilla, chocolate, butter pecan and strawberry.
  9. There are around 2,000 varieties of cheeses available worldwide.
  10. The majority of dairy cattle in in the US are one of 7 breeds: Holstein (black and white or red and white), Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Jersey, and Milking Shorthorn.
  11. Bonus – South Dakota State University lays claim to inventing Cookies and Cream flavored ice cream. Go Jacks!