West Virginia urges consumers to support local dairy farms
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – WV Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) are calling on residents of the Mountain State to support local dairies and connected industries during National Dairy Month. Originally established in 1937, National Dairy Month is held annually in June to highlight the impact of the dairy industry in the United States. West Virginia currently has 39 dairy farms and one dairy processor.
“During the pandemic, we saw the importance of local food systems. It is vital we continue to support local farmers as they create resiliency, as well as help foster economic growth in our communities. This Dairy Month, I encourage you to get to know your local dairy farmer,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt.
Commissioner Leonhardt, the WVDA and the American Dairy Association Mideast on behalf of West Virginia dairy farmers will be hosting a Dairy Day at West Virginia Power Park on Friday, June 18. There will be a live cow milking and various dairy products available. The Department is also asking the public to support West Virginia dairy by purchasing local ice cream, cheese or other byproducts.
“Since the Department took over the full regulation of milk and dairy products in West Virginia, we have worked with our producers to reduce regulations or foster innovation. As dairy consumption has plateaued in the United States, producers must look towards niche markets to connect with consumers. Our goal is to help micro-distilleries valued-added industries, such as cheese production, and traditional dairy processing flourish in West Virginia,” Leonhardt said.
For a full list of dairy producers in West Virginia, click here: https://agriculture.wv.gov/dairy-farm-list/