Why is today special? It’s National Milk Day! Milk Day celebrates the day many believe the first milk deliveries in glass bottles occurred. We don’t house any milk producing animals year-round at the Sunbelt Ag Expo, but we do celebrate milk during the show each October.
While you enjoy a cold glass of milk today, know that most dairy milk in the United States comes from California. Along with Wisconsin, Idaho, New York, and Texas, these five states produce over half of the country’s milk. Even though milk production in the southeast as a whole has been on the decline over the past several years, from 2008 to 2020, Georgia increased milk production by 26.6 percent. Southeastern milk production is becoming more concentrated in Georgia and Florida, primarily coming from dairy farms owned and operated by second and third-generation farmers. South Carolina also celebrates milk as the official “state drink.”
Milk is enjoyed in many forms daily and we are proud to promote the industry to visitors each year at the Sunbelt Ag Expo. While planning your visit to this year’s Expo, be sure not to miss the Cow Milking Contest held annually on the Tuesday afternoon of Expo. In 2021, Dean Nick Place, University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, took home the prize as the fastest milker on the stool. Enjoy a
milking demonstration at the Georgia Mobile Dairy Classroom and an ice cream sandwich and a carton of milk provided by the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission.
We can’t forget about milk produced by other animals. While Holsteins, Jerseys, Brown Swiss, and Guernsey cows top the list at 81% of world milk production, buffaloes make the list with 15%, goats with 2%, and camels with 0.5%. Yes, camels…who knew. During Expo week, we don’t have buffaloes or camels on site, but we do have a few goats. You can sit in on milking demonstrations and other sheep and goat seminars. You can even enjoy goat’s milk ice cream in the Fort Valley State University building.
No matter the milk you choose to enjoy, we hope you enjoy a cold glass or a sweet milk treat on this January day. Join us in October to learn more about the dairy industry in the southeast. Plan your trip now!