PHOTO: Hatcher Family Dairy chocolate milk that was shared with the County Commission Monday night. / Photo by Alexander Willis
BY ALEXANDER WILLIS
On Monday night, County Mayor Rogers Anderson and Commissioner Ricky Jones officially decreed June as Dairy Month in Williamson County during the meeting of the County Commission, recognizing the economic impact the dairy industry has made on the county, as well as on the state as a whole.
Before the decree, freshly-made chocolate milk courtesy of Williamson County’s own Hatcher Family Dairy was given out to all the County Commissioners, which Anderson said while it wouldn’t “help your waistline,” was fresh and delicious. Hatcher Family Dairy is a dairy farm in College Grove that has been run by the Hatcher family since 1831, and sells its products to over 65 businesses across Middle Tennessee.
Dairy farms have had a major impact on local commerce for decades, with well-known operations through the years in Nolensville, Bethesda, Thompson’s Station and the Fairview area.
“Whereas dairy farmers have contributed to the development and well-being of our community from the earliest formation of Williamson County, and whereas the dairy industry is a major industry in Tennessee and a significant contribution to the economy of our community, and whereas milk and dairy foods provide health benefits and valuable nutrients, therefore I do hereby proclaim the entire month of June, 2019 shall be observed as Dairy Month in Williamson County,” Jones said. “[I] urge all citizens to better understand, recognize and observe this worthy industry.”
Starting out as National Milk Month in 1937, Dairy Month was instituted as a means to promote drinking milk during a time when production was in a surplus, as well as a way to celebrate the contributions made to the country by the dairy industry.
Like Hatcher Farms, 97 percent of dairy farms in the country are family-owned and operated, with the United States being the single largest cow milk producer in the world. While the amount of cows used in milk production has seen a steady decline over the years in the U.S., milk production has actually increased in recent years, with over 17 billion pounds of milk being produced in July of 2018.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture encourages citizens to consume dairy products due to their high amounts of calcium, vitamin D and protein, and lists benefits such as improved bone health and reduced risk of low blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. So grab a glass of cool milk, stock up and yogurt, a don’t forget to throw some cheese into your daily meals.