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Dairy Month marks 64th year

By Staff
MAKE IT WITH DAIRY PRODUCTS n Beth Randall, a 4-H agent for the Mississippi State University-Extension Service, Lauderdale County, prepares a special treat using a variety of dairy products. The local Extension Service will sponsor a Dairy Food Contest on June 15 at East Mississippi Electric Power Association in conjunction with the national observance of Dairy Month. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Ida Brown/The Meridian Star
June 6, 2001
Milk does a body good.
Whether it's an ice-cold glass with cookies or a sandwich, in a bowl with your favorite hot or cold cereal or an ingredient in a recipe, if you've "got milk," you've got it good.
June has marked an annual salute to America's dairy farmers since 1937, when grocer organizations sponsored "National Milk Month." Two years later, the observation became known as Dairy Month, promoting the consumption of all dairy foods. This year, the American Dairy Association and National Dairy Association, along with the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA), is recognizing thousands of dairy farm families with the famous "got milk?" slogan.
Joining in the celebration is the local Extension Service, which will host Dairy Day on June 15 at East Mississippi Electric Power Association. A highlight of the event will feature Lauderdale County 4-H'ers and Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers club members competing in a Dairy Foods Contest.
Participants are required to include at least one cup of dairy product in their recipe entries. At 11:30 a.m., a panel of judges will critique the entries and afterwards, everyone attending will have the opportunity to sample the dishes.
An ice cream maker will be presented to the first place winners in each division. Awards also will be presented to the second through fifth place winners.
Other highlights of the day include entertainment by 4-H'ers and the distribution of dairy information.
Milk and milk products are nutrient packages of nine essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, potassium, riboflavin, phosphorus, vitamins A, D and B-12 and protein. According to SUDIA, a glass of milk or a slice of cheese is good nutrition for the body. Providing 72 percent of the calcium available in the American diet, dairy products are what dietitians call nutrient-dense foods, containing an abundance of vitamins and minerals per calorie.
But that's not all.
While calcium is best known for building strong bones and teeth, it also helps with other things. Calcium plays a major role in preventing the crippling bone disease osteoporosis later in life and can help prevent certain cancers, including colon cancer.
According to SUDIA, recent evidence shows milk consumption may help control weight. And, low-fat dairy products may play a crucial role in controlling high blood pressure through the eating plan Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), which advocates three low-fat dairy products and eight to 10 fruits and vegetables daily.
But milk's scope is not limited to its health benefits. With several varieties to suit the tastes of practically everyone, you can find a flavor that fits you. Chocolate, strawberry and banana available in single-serve, plastic containers add a new twist.
To help get you "moo-ving" with milk, the following recipes were provided by the local Extension Service. The first five recipes in each category were the Top 5 winners at last year's Dairy Foods Contest.

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