Got Milk?: More than 3,000 cows are milked in Coshocton County each day

| June 20, 2019

COSHOCTON – Hello Coshocton County! One of the cornerstones of Coshocton County agriculture has been our dairy industry. I have always been impressed with the dedication our local dairy farmers have to their businesses. They have a spirit that transcends all reason even in the face of adversity.

The past few years have been full of adversity as milk prices continue to be at an all-time low. Over production, weakening demand, and trade wars have really impacted milk prices. And now, our rainy weather has made it difficult for quality forages to be made.

In spite of the challenges, Coshocton County still has 50 dairy farms which produce either Grade A (fluid milk) or Grade M (manufactured grade) milk. In total, almost 3,300 dairy cows are milked each day here in Coshocton County. Collectively, these cows produce almost nine million gallons of milk each year or about 2,700 gallons of milk per cow per year.

Since 1937, June has been recognized as National Dairy Month. During the month, we pause to honor the hard work of our nation’s dairy farmers and highlight the importance of dairy in our diets. Just imagine a world without ice cream, butter, cheese, or a cool refreshing glass of milk! To me it would be unbearable not to have these products around the house! In fact, as a nation, we love dairy products as the average American drinks over 23 gallons of milk per year, eats 22 pounds of ice cream, and munches away on over 33 pounds of cheese.

Do you know that Thomas Jefferson was the first “Big Cheese?” The phrase was coined when a cheese-maker gave a 1,235-pound cheese wheel to President Jefferson in 1801. Passers-by were amazed by the spectacle and dubbed it “the big cheese.”

Speaking of cheese, do you realize that our very own Pearl Valley Cheese produces enough cheese that every person in Coshocton County could eat 1 pound of cheese every day of the year. That is a lot of cheese!

Do you know milk is the only major crop that is harvested daily? Do you know the average cow produces 90 glasses of milk each day and that more ice cream is produced and eaten in the United States than in any other country? Do you know that it takes 21.2 pounds of whole milk to make one pound of butter and 10 pounds of milk to make a pound of cheese? Do you know that a Holstein cow’s spots are like a fingerprint or a snowflake? No two cows have exactly the same pattern of spots!

With all the alternative beverages and snacks on the market today, many are under the impression that the consumption of milk has declined during the past decade. This is not true; instead, consumption of dairy products has remained steady.

But we can do better! How about helping out our local dairy farmers by increasing your consumption of milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream and other dairy products. Rain, shine, sleet, snow or even flooding does not slow our dairy farmers from producing high quality milk 365 days a year.

Coshocton County residents as we close the month of June, do not hesitate to ask the questions, “Got milk?” or “Where is your milk mustache?” of your neighbors. In fact, wouldn’t it be nice to walk down the street and hear someone say; “Ich liebe die milch,” “J’aime let lait,” “Yo amo la leche,” or “Ik hou van melk.” Because no matter whether you say it in German, French, Spanish, or Dutch, it is okay to say, “I love milk!”  Have a good and safe day!

David Marrison is Associate Professor and Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension.  Mr. Marrison can be reached at 740-622-2265 or [email protected]

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