Desha Wilkins has been named the 2021 June Dairy Month Chairman for Hamilton County.
Wilkins was honored May 21 at the Tennessee June Dairy Month Kickoff Event at Battle Mountain Farm in College Grove. The event included recognition from Celeste Blackburn, president of the American Dairy Association of Tennessee. The official kickoff celebration recognized Tennessee 4-H member’s efforts to promote June’s National Dairy Month in Tennessee.
Co-sponsored by The Dairy Alliance, 4-H and the Tennessee Farm Bureau, National Dairy Month activities are designed to communicate the value of milk and other dairy products to Tennessee consumers.
Chairpersons play a vital role in spreading dairy’s message in their communities.
“It is an honor to be selected to be the 2021 June Dairy Month Chairperson,” Ms. Wilkins said. “The dairy industry plays an important role in our selection of nutritious foods and supporting farmers. I would like to share June Dairy Month information with the public.”
Desha, an 11th grader, is the daughter of Jay and LaTina Wilkins. She volunteers for various community service projects. She is a member of Jack & Jill of America and a Toastmasters International public speaking winner. She is an active member of her 4-H chapter, participating in dairy poster contests and judging teams. She attended the Southern Regional Teen Leadership Conference, where she was a part of the planning committee, and the Tennessee 4-H State Council, where she was a senior representative for the Eastern region.
“We wish Desha much success in her role of communicating the nutritional benefits of milk and dairy products to the people in Hamilton County,” said American Dairy Association of Tennessee president Celeste Blackburn. “Desha will appreciate the cooperation of the people there. Her interest and enthusiasm will result in a better informed community from which all will benefit.”
Originally deemed “National Milk Month” by American grocers in 1937, National Dairy Month began to promote dairy consumption during peak milk production in the summer. Today, it continues celebrating with the Southeast’s communities and companies through festivals, contests and even a special night dedicated to dairy farmers at the ballpark.
In 2020, there were an estimated 30,000 Tennessee dairy cows living on 180 dairy farms producing 63 million gallons of milk. The top five milk producing Tennessee counties were: Loudon, Bradley, Monroe, McMinn and Bedford.
This year’s theme, “Dairy Potter,” encourages families to make milk their first beverage choice due to its unique package of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are an essential part of a healthy diet. With local media and farm bureaus, dairy farmers will be working alongside The Dairy Alliance to engage consumers through social media, radio contests, T-shirt giveaways, events and more. For more information on how you can celebrate National Dairy Month, visit www.thedairyalliance.com/dairy-farming/june-dairy-month/.