IF YOU would rather listen than read. CLICK HERE.
It all began as National Milk Month in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk. This day created to stabilize the dairy demand when production was at a surplus has since developed into an annual tradition that celebrates the contributions the dairy industry has made to the world.
After the National Dairy Council stepped in to promote the cause, the name soon changed to "Dairy Month."
Dairy products like milk contain nine essential nutrients, which may help to manage your weight better, reduce your risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers. Whether it's protein to help build and repair the muscle tissue of active bodies or vitamin A to help maintain healthy skin, dairy products are a natural nutrient powerhouse.
There are only 91 dairy farms in North Dakota today according to the ND Department of Agriculture website. But growing up, there was a time when all my farm relatives had dairy cows.
Since June is also Immigrant Heritage Month (https://www.iamanimmigrant.com/), I can share with you that my great-grandparents came to North Dakota with the first wave of Germans from Russia in the late 1800s. I am the fourth generation, and my grandchildren are the sixth generation German-Russians.
We are agrarian by trade and my maiden name “Kaseman” translates into “cheese man.” So, that might be a clue as to why my father’s siblings all kept dairy cows on their farms in McIntosh County. My mother’s relatives also milked.
That meant growing up; we always planned our gatherings, weddings, baptisms, etc. either before or after milking, cause cows don’t wait. Ellen Tuttle who was 100 or 101 when I spoke with her for my first book, “Ewiger Saatz,” said, “Celebrate the Fourth of July - oh yes, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day those were big days. We would get up in the morning on the Fourth of July and milk the cows and get everything and get in the wagon with the horses and come to Linton to celebrate and come home in time to milk.”
It didn’t matter if you lived in town. Interviewing Helen Frisch, who was 98 years old, told me that even though they lived in town, they had house cows were kept in a community pasture and milked for the daily cooking and drinking milk. In the winter they were tethered near the home, or in a shelter on an individual property.
One of our favorite treats for breakfast was fresh cream seasoned with salt and pepper with fresh-baked bread to dunk.
Benjamin Vetter, Linton, enjoyed his cream with chokecherry jelly. He and his wife, Delphine, told me about how 15-20 cows were nothing, simply saying if there were 10 children and each milked two cows, it went fast. Like milking before going to school could ever be fast enough.
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.