June is recognized as Dairy Month
By Diego Flammini
Dairy Month, celebrated in June, kicks off with World Milk Day on June 1.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations established World Milk Day in 2001 to recognize the importance of milk as a global food, and to celebrate the dairy sector.
“Today is #WorldMilkDay!” Glengarry Farm Finance said in a Twitter post. “Today we celebrate the nearly 1.4 million milk cows in Canada and their dedicated farmers.”
So, grab a glass of local milk and check out these facts about Canadian milk.
Did you know a Canadian cow once held the Guinness record for the most milk produced?
In February 2012, a 15-year-old Holstein cow named Smurf from La Ferme Gillette in Embrun, Ont., recorded a world lifetime yield of 216,891 kg.
To put that number into perspective, blue whales can weigh up to 199,000 kg.
In Canada, 98 per cent of dairy farms are family-owned and operated.
As of August 2022, Canada had 9,739 dairy farms with a total dairy cattle population of about 1.4 million head.
This means the average Canadian dairy farm had about 143 dairy cows.
Quebec has the most dairy farms in the country with 4,548.
Alberta has the most dairy farms in western Canada with 488.
And Newfoundland and Labrador have the fewest number of dairy operations in Canada with 25.
Together, Canadian dairy farmers helped produce 94.50 million hectolitres of milk in 2022.
That’s 9.45 billion litres of milk, or enough to fill about 3,780 Olympic swimming pools.
And any Canadian who wants to enjoy local milk can do so.
In 2021, there was 69.2 litres of milk available per person, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says.
“Canadian dairy remains some of the best, highest quality milk in the world,” Senator Rob Black said on Twitter. “On this #WorldMilkDay, I’ll be raising a glass to the hard work of #CdnAg and our excellent dairy producers here in the Senate!”
The dairy industry is also important to Canada’s economy.
The dairy sector:
- Supports about 195,000 jobs across Canada,
- Exported $508.9 million of products in 2022,
- Contributes about $19.9 billion annually to Canada’s total economic output,
- Exported $143.1 million of dairy genetics in 2022,
- Ranks second based on farm cash receipts in Canadian ag behind red meat production.