National Milk Day Date in the current year: January 11, 2024

National Milk Day Milk is a staple food in many households, and for a good reason: it is a rich source of protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients. The United States is one of the largest milk producers and consumers in the world, so it is not surprising that it has a holiday dedicated to milk. Americans celebrate National Milk Day annually on January 11.

The females of all mammal species produce milk to feed their young; humans have consumed the milk of some mammals as food for a long time. Since a lot of adults lack the enzyme that helps the body digest the lactose in milk, milk is processed into a variety of dairy products with lower lactose levels such as cheese.

Cow’s milk is the most widely consumed and produced kind of milk in the world. Other animals that provide milk used for the production of dairy products include water buffalo, sheep, goats, and, more rarely, camels, donkeys, horses, reindeer, yaks, and even moose. India is the world’s largest producer of milk in total, whereas the United States is the world’s largest producer of cow’s milk. There are over 40,000 dairy farms in the US; the top-five dairy producing states are California, Wisconsin, New York, Idaho, and Texas.

Given the country’s thriving dairy industry and high consumption of milk, it is not surprising that there is a National Milk Day in the United States. The history of the holiday can be traced back to 1915, when the International Association of Dairy and Milk Inspectors submitted a request to Congress to establish National Milk Day. The request didn’t include a proposed date for the observance, and nothing ultimately came out of it.

The origins of National Milk Day that we celebrate today are unclear, but various sources claim that the date of January 11 was chosen to celebrate the day in 1878 when the first delivery of milk in sterilized glass bottles ostensibly took place. It is believed that the delivery was made by the New York Dairy Company owned by Alexander Campbell.

Regardless of whether these claims are actually true, milk definitely deserves to be celebrated. You can observe National Milk Day by enjoying milk and dairy products in any form, be it a large glass of milk in the morning or before going to sleep, a bowl of cereal with milk for breakfast, a milkshake from your favorite diner, a mug of homemade hot chocolate, a carton of flavored milk, a grilled cheese sandwich, a serving of your favorite ice cream, or a Greek yogurt-based dressing in your salad.

Other ways to celebrate National Milk Day include learning interesting facts about milk and dairy products and sharing them with others, trying a new dairy product or a new recipe that calls for milk or dairy, visit your local dairy farm to see how it works (a lot of dairy farms offer guided tours or are open to the public for visits on certain days), and spreading the word on social media with the hashtag #NationalMilkDay.

The United States isn’t the only country that celebrates a holiday dedicated to milk. For example, National Milk Day in India is observed on November 26 to commemorate the birthday of social entrepreneur and engineer Verghese Kurien, who is widely regarded as the father of India’s milk industry. In addition, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization established World Milk Day that is celebrated on June 1.

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National Milk Day, holidays in the United States, observances in the United States, unofficial holidays, food days