Celebrate June Dairy Month at Educational Open Houses

Update, June 11, 2024: The northwest Iowa location has cancelled their open house until next year due to the recent announcement of an HPAI-positive herd in the state. The Calmar breakfast on the farm event will be held as scheduled.


AMES, Iowa – Iowans can learn more about the dairy industry and experience modern dairy farming methods as the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach dairy team celebrates National Dairy Month in June.

Dairy cows

An open house is planned at Iowa’s Dairy Center June 22 in Calmar. (The Iowa State Dairy Farm open house in Ames has been canceled this year due to storm damage, but will return in 2025).

“These educational open houses provide everyone a chance at gaining a real-life experience of the dairy industry,” said Jenn Bentley, a dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Each venue has a unique twist, but conveys the same dairy message to people of all ages and backgrounds.”

Dairy is the fifth largest agricultural business in Iowa, generating $5.6 billion a year in economic activity from farming to dairy processing, supplying 22,000 jobs with a labor income of $891 million. The annual economic impact of a single dairy cow is more than $25,400 per cow.

June Dairy Month was first established in 1937 as National Milk Month, with the aim of encouraging milk consumption. However, this observance has since been transformed into National Dairy Month. Initially dairy month was created to address the surplus of dairy production and stabilize demand; it has evolved into an annual tradition commemorating the dairy industry’s invaluable contributions to society.

Visit a Dairy Farm

On June 22, Iowans can enjoy Breakfast on the Farm, from 8 a.m. to noon at Iowa’s Dairy Center in northeast Iowa, south of Calmar.

Organizers will serve a wholesome breakfast complete with Dad’s Belgian Waffles, sausage and dairy products including milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream – all locally produced and processed. Visitors can take a guided tram tour of the farm and there will be activities for all ages, including hand-milking a cow, a petting zoo, corn story time with a local dairy princess, cow inflatables and educational exhibits.

Event details

  • June 22, Breakfast on the Farm, at Iowa’s Dairy Center, 8 a.m. until noon, at 1527 Highway 150 S., Calmar. Breakfast on the Farm will be held rain or shine. Parking is available on site.

For more information, contact Gail Carpenter, state dairy extension specialist, at ajcarpen@iastate.edu

Extension field specialists are also available. In northwest Iowa, contact Fred Hall at 712-737-4230 or fredhall@iastate.edu
In northeast Iowa, Jenn Bentley is available at 563-382-2949 or jbentley@iastate.edu. Larry Tranel is available at tranel@iastate.edu or 583-6496.

Shareable photo: Holstein dairy cattle in milking parlor.


Gail Carpenter
Extension Dairy Specialist