With California leading the country in dairy production and Sonoma County the 11th largest producer in the state, the Board of Supervisors has declared June National Dairy Month.
“Sonoma County Dairy family farmers are a driving force in our local economy and in preserving our quality of life," said Supervisor David Rabbitt during last week's ceremony in Santa Rosa.
"Not only are they producing a critical staple in healthy diets, they are creating and maintaining many local jobs and protecting our environment. These families take pride in the preservation of natural resources and providing the best care for their cows.”
Sonoma County has 66 dairies, less than half the number from just 30 years ago. Work at a dairy is grueling, solitary and almost never-ending, prompting many younger people to seek other careers.
Despite the challenges, the dairy industry continues to be a lucrative one for the region, last year generating more than $94 million in revenue (second only to grapes.)
Also present at the June 12 recognition ceremony were Sonoma County Ag Commissioner Tony Linegar, Judy Buttke, president of the North Bay Dairy Women, a group created to support the local dairy industry and California Milk Advisory Board Dairy Princess Suzanne Amaral. Dairy princesses are selected each year and become advocates for the region's dairy industry, speaking to schools and organizations to generate support.