From Cow to Glass: Dairy Marketing in Iowa

“You Lucky Iowans” A Dairy Month ad from the American Dairy Association of Iowa and the Iowa Diary Industry Commission, 1962. (MS 65, box 6, folder 8)

“The very foundation of June Dairy Month begins with the dairy farmer himself. Without the dairymen, neither milk nor dairy dollars would flow through the channels of trade.”

Dairymen Work Together to Build Dairy Markets, in “Radio Scripts,” MS 65, box 6 folder 8.

June is Dairy Month, which gave me an opportunity to see what material we’ve got in the stacks on dairy marketing in Iowa. The records of the Iowa State Dairy Association (MS 65) reveal how much work it takes to market dairy. Filled with sample event calendars, restaurant table displays, decoration ideas, recipes, and advertisement layouts, the annual promotional packets are excellent sources for understanding how the dairy industry sought to encourage dairy use each summer.

Here are some examples of suggested interviewees and interview prompts from the 1962 June Dairy Month promotional materials (MS 65, box 6, folder 8):

MS65B6F8-Banker MS65B6F8-nurse

Most Iowa dairy farms are still relatively small family operations. Despite this, Iowa farms produced 4,646,000,000 lbs of milk last year!

“Mrs. McCoy” enjoying the 1964 Dairy Month festivities in Marion (Linn County), Iowa. (MS 65, box 7, folder 1)

If you’re a milk drinker, you can enjoy the following refreshing beverage, courtesy of a recipe shared at a Dairy Month event (MS 65, box 13, folder 13):


1/4 c. instant vanilla pudding mix

3 tbsp orange juice concentrate

2 c. milk

Blend, chill, and enjoy! (I assumed that this was the next step – it wasn’t in the original recipe!)

For more on Dairy Month, see last year’s blog entry and be sure to check out the other dairy marketing materials in the Iowa State Dairy Association Records.

CyPix: Say Cheese!

National Dairy Products Judging training with Professor Rosenfield, 1948. (collection/box number)

National Dairy Products Judging training, 1948. RS 9/13/F, Box 708.

In honor of National Dairy Month, above is a photo of students being trained for dairy products judging for a contest in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in October, 1948. Here, some students and their professor are testing cheese products (something I wouldn’t mind doing). Want to know more about dairy production in Iowa and at Iowa State University? Stop by and have a look at the Iowa State Dairy Association Records (MS 65), the Department of Food Technology Laboratory Manuals (RS 9/13/0/5), and the Earl Gullette Hammond Papers (RS 9/13/17). We hope to see you soon!

CyPix: National Dairy Month

Cheese-lovers and ice cream aficionados rejoice! It’s National Dairy Month! To celebrate, here’s a photo of the source of these wonderful things, a dairy cow.

A farmer with his dairy cow in front a sign that reads: "Dairy Cattle Congress: National Belgian Show," 1927. RS 16/03/G

A farmer with his dairy cow in front a sign that reads: “Dairy Cattle Congress: National Belgian Show,” 1929. RS 16/03/G

Dairy has been studied at Iowa State University since 1880, both in the respects of breeding and caring for dairy cows and of food production. Of course, cheese and ice cream aren’t the only things that dairy cows have given us. Thanks to these creatures we have milk, yogurt (frozen, Greek, etc.), gelato, lattes, milk chocolate, and much more. For more information on dairy cattle and dairy foods, we have several collections for you to peruse. The best bets include the Department of Food Technology Laboratory Manuals, Earl Gullette Hammond Papers, Richard L. Willham Papers, Wise Burroughs Papers, Damon Von Catron Papers, the Iowa State Dairy Association Records, and various collections within the Cooperative Extension Service in Agriculture and Home Economics. Also be sure to check out Flickr for more dairy-related photos. Enjoy!