June is Dairy Month!

Jun 01, 2023

Sara Clausen
Director of Communications

Those who live and work in agriculture take any opportunity to celebrate our industry and the hardworking producers behind our food. This month, we would like to recognize and thank our dairy farmers. So crack open a cold one (carton of milk that is), because June is Dairy Month!

Dairy Month was established in 1937 by grocer organizations as a way to distribute extra milk during the warm months of summer – deeming it “National Milk Month.” By 1939, June became the official “dairy month” and is still celebrated today. (Source: American Farm Bureau Federation) Nearly a century later, we still celebrate Dairy Month and take advantage of enjoying several milk products– cheese curds, butter, chocolate milk…and don’t forget the ice cream!

Key Cooperative is proud to serve a number of dairy farms and this Dairy Month, we would like to introduce you to Haub Dairy in Boone, IA. Brothers Matt & Jeremiah own and operate the dairy today which was passed down to them by their grandfather, Ralph and father, David. “The parlor was built in 1977,” said Matt, “This was back when Saylorville Lake was formed and we moved our farm to its current location.” The two have always been part of the farm operation but Matt began full-time in 1997, then Jeremiah full-time in 2016. Both are now raising their children and families to be part of the dairy operation.

The size of Haub’s dairy herd hasn’t changed much since the late 80’s – still very productive at about 70 cows, but today each animal produces around 70 pounds of milk per day. “We calve year-round,” said Jeremiah, “Over the past two years, I’ve always bred about every two weeks; keeping all the heifers and selling the bulls.” With a herd of Holstein and Jersey cows, the operation often cross breeds because Jersey cow milk offers great flavor which is more desirable in the marketplace. “For many years now, Haub Dairy has been an exclusive dairy producer for the very popular Picket Fence Creamery based out of Woodward, IA,” said Jeremiah.”

Milking parlors are quite innovative today compared to what they were when Dairy Month was first recognized. Though automation machines assist with milking, the dairy still wakes up before most are on their second dream. “Our day begins around 4:30 A.M.,” said Matt, “Milking takes about three hours and then we repeat the process again 12 hours later.” Robotic milking has become a common technology in the industry but is also quite an investment. The brothers agreed they will consider it someday and look forward to having more technology to help them care for their animals in the future.

The team of two are quite involved in marketing their product but also educating the next generation. As a Boone County Fair Superintendent, Jeremiah works with 4-H kids throughout the year and promotes his lease program. “4-Hers can lease a dairy cow which stays here at our farm, but the student learns how to care for the animal and how to show it at the fair,” said Jeremiah, “We’ve taken up to 40 head to the Boone County Fair before!” It’s important to the Haubs that students learn where their food comes from, but also that dairy cows are production animals, not pets. “My ultimate goal,” said Jeremiah, “Is to expose youth to large animals and farm life.
Matt and Jeremiah Haub operate Haub Dairy, an exclusive dairy provider for Picket Fence Creamery.

The Haub's herd includes both Holstein and Jersey cows. Haub Dairy has been in operation for over 45 years. 

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