June is National Dairy Month!

Window display at the Petaluma Cooperative Creamery. Photo taken by Decker & Deckter Studios.

75 years ago this month the National Association of Chain Drug Stores sponsored a milk promotion, a gesture of good will to dairy farmers. Special sales efforts were made at soda fountains of the chain stores to help dispose of an existing milk surplus. The promotion was from June 12 to July 10, and was known as National Milk Month. “Keep Youthful — Drink Milk” was the theme.

 In 1938 a more widespread milk campaign was planned under the sponsorship of the National Cooperative Milk Producers Federation and the National Dairy Council. Participation was solicited and pledged by the Institute of Distribution, representing the chain variety stores, also by the chain drug stores, the food chains and restaurant chains.

At the request of the sponsors and co-sponsors of this second National Milk Month, the National Dairy Council served as national headquarters and prepared the campaign poster and other materials for use by the chain stores, about 6,300 in number. The 1938 campaign was “Drink Milk — Benefit Yourself–Speed Recovery.”

The official campaign name was changed from National Milk Month to June Dairy Month in 1939.

More June Dairy Month historical hightlights to come in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

About Katherine J. Rinehart

Katherine J. Rinehart received a MA in History from Sonoma State University in 1994. For the past 19 years, Ms. Rinehart has worked in various positions within the fields of Cultural Resource Management and Historic Preservation and is currently employed by the Sonoma County Library where she has worked in the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Department since 2002. Katherine is the author of Petaluma: A History in Architecture, a contributor to Celebrating Petaluma published by the Petaluma Sesquicentennial Committee and the Petaluma Visitors Program. Ms. Rinehart is an occasional contributor to the Press Democrat and is proud to be a Petaluma Good Egg.
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