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For Immediate Release: June 8, 2006
Contact: Lynne Richmond  (609) 292-8896

(TRENTON) – When third-graders at Kuser Elementary School in Hamilton Township made ice cream by putting milk, vanilla and other ingredients in a bag and shaking it, they might not have been thinking about the importance of the dairy industry to New Jersey or how eating three servings of dairy a day can make them healthier, but about how much fun they were having preparing the icy treat.

However, New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus was quick to tell the students that dairy products contain calcium, vitamins and other nutrients that help to build strong bones, muscles and teeth.

“Milk, yogurts, cheeses and other dairy products taste good, but they also are a beneficial component of a healthy diet,” said Secretary Kuperus.  “During the month of June, which is Dairy Month in New Jersey, we need to remember the contributions of the dairy industry to the state economy and quality of life, as well as residents’ good health.  Eating three daily servings of dairy is important not only for young people, but for parents as well.”

The American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dietetic Association and the National Medical Association support 3-A-Day of Dairy for better health. The 3-A-Day program recommends three servings of dairy each day to provide nine essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins D, A, B12, riboflavin and niacin for stronger bones and bodies.  The program points to research indicating that by eating three servings daily, adults can achieve better results when it comes to weight loss and also can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other ailments.

Secretary Kuperus along with 2006 New Jersey Dairy Princess Larissa Byma  stressed the nutritional value of dairy while helping about 50 students make the soft-serve vanilla ice cream.  Byma is a 17-year-old junior at High Point Regional High School, lives on her family’s Wantage Township dairy farm, and is active in the local dairy and beef 4-H clubs. 

“As Dairy Princess, I’m honored to represent the dairy farmers of New Jersey and promote the dairy industry,” said Byma. 

Governor Jon S. Corzine proclaimed June 2006 as Dairy Month.  New Jersey dairy farms and processors provide consumers with fresh milk as well as creams, yogurts, butter, cheeses and other dairy products.

New Jersey is home to 113 dairy farms and 11,000 milk cows that produce nearly 186 million pounds of milk each year.  Those cows are primarily located in the counties of Salem, Sussex, Warren, Gloucester and Burlington.  Dairy farmers contribute almost $44 million to the state’s economy each year and help to maintain more than 75,000 acres of open space, adding to the quality of life of all state residents.

What was once the leading sector of agriculture in the 1920’s and 30’s, dairy has been losing farms each year.  To help sustain and grow the dairy industry in New Jersey, the Department of Agriculture has taken several steps:

  • The Department, along with Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension and New Jersey Farm Bureau, formed the Garden State Dairy Alliance, a team with state and federal partners concerned with such issues as animal health, milk quality, marketing and dairy industry development, biosecurity and nutrient management.  A webpage was developed to support the program:
  • Dairy is one of the Department’s 2006 Economic Development strategies:
  • The Department also is implementing regulations to allow milk and products made from milk to use the Jersey Fresh brand.

“Dairy is an important sector of New Jersey’s agriculture industry and we are working to ensure that dairy farms continue to thrive in the state,” said Secretary Kuperus.  “Through the support of the Dairy Alliance and the work of the Department, we hope to strengthen the dairy industry and keep it competitive and profitable.”

The following is the recipe for ice cream followed by the Kuser Elementary School students:

Vanilla Ice Cream
½ cup milk
½ tsp. Vanilla
1 TBS Sugar
4 cups crushed ice
4 TBS Salt
2 quart size zip and lock bags
1 gallon size zip and lock freezer bag
Hand towel or gloves to keep fingers from freezing

Mix the milk, vanilla and sugar together in a quart size bag.  Seal tightly, allowing as little air to remain in the bag as possible.  Place this bag inside another quart size bag, again sealing and leaving as little air as possible.  By double-bagging, the risk of salt and ice leaking into the ice cream is minimal.  Put the two bags inside the gallon size bag and fill the bag with ice, then sprinkle salt on top.  Again, let all the air escape and seal the bag.  Wrap the bag in a towel or put gloves on and shake and massage the bag, making sure the ice surrounds the cream mixture.  Five to eight minutes is adequate time for the mixture to freeze into ice cream.