June and July are big months for the dairy industry. June is National Dairy Month and began in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk and help stabilize dairy demand during surplus months. July is National Ice Month. It gets its roots from a 1984 designation made by then-President Ronald Reagan. The third Sunday of the month is considered National Ice Cream Day. President Reagan, according to the International Dairy Foods Association, recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food enjoyed by more than 90 percent of the population. As the dairy industry continues its fight for demand, improved market prices and pressure to consolidate or grow, some smaller producers are finding hope in value-added products. "We risked everything that his family had worked for all those years," said Karen Kelley of Kelley Country Creamery. "We're very fortunate that building an ice cream shop in the middle of nowhere has worked." The fifth generation family farm started an ice cream business near Fond du Lac Wisconsin. "We make ice cream Monday through Friday and sometimes we have to do it on the weekends if we're running short," said Kelley. With 65 cows and couple hundred acres the farm, that dates back to 1861, needed more income to survive. "It's five generations and our son will be taking over as the sixth generation," said Kelley. "I will do everything we can to make sure that we're doing the best we can so we can keep it in our family but only God knows the final outcome." Listen to more about this tenacious family on the Farm Sense Podcast with AgDay host Clinton Griffiths.
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