In July, build your theme around ice cream
What: Whether it’s eaten out of a cone, a bowl or with a cherry on top, ice cream is a favorite for kids of all ages, and it should come as no surprise that ice cream sales and production catapult as the temperatures rise in the summer months. This July, celebrate one of summer’s best-loved treats during National Ice Cream Day on July 17.
Background: Although the origins of the tasty treat date back to the second century B.C., it wasn’t until the late 1800s that ice cream became widely available in the U.S. July was dubbed National Ice Cream Month in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, and he also declared the third Sunday of each July as National Ice Cream Day.
Story Pitch: The month of July provides dairy and farming industries, retailers and corporations an opportunity to advertise their product, companies, sustainability efforts, and industry as a whole. The ice cream industry is a major contributor to the success of the overall dairy industry. Nearly 10 percent of all milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream. Local dairy farmers can promote visits to their farms, agribusiness, and the larger farming industry during July. With more than 60,000 dairy farms in the United States (99 percent of which are family-owned-and-operated) dairy farmers strive to make their farms and communities sustainable for the future. Environmentally friendly efforts involve water conservation, waste management, protection of air quality, and reduced use of conventional pesticides. Improvements in food safety and animal welfare have also been made. Ice cream retailers can use National Ice Cream Month or Day to promote their products with deals and special events.
Story Hook: Though not always a visible commercial entity, the dairy industry is considered the number one agricultural business in nine states including California, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Vermont and Maine. The U.S. is the top ice cream consuming country and annually, the ice cream industry generates more than $21 billion in sales and provides jobs for thousands of people living in the U.S. Consider these questions when pitching your story:
- Is there a significant dairy industry, vendor, or manufacturer in the region?
- How can you spark interest and connect with ice cream or dairy consumers?
- How are local farms implementing environmentally sound and sustainable practices into their business? How does this effect surrounding communities?
- How can ice cream and related desserts be healthily incorporated into a balanced diet for the entire family?
- Has the ice cream industry been affected by the economy? If so, how have businesses survived or made adjustments to stay successful?
- What does the life of a dairy farmer, ice cream manufacturer, or ice cream vendor look like?
Tips: Provide contact information for someone at a national dairy association or advocacy group. Contact a local dairy farmer who can speak about daily farming practices as well as sustainability on farms nationwide, production of dairy products, animal safety and welfare, and food safety.
Dairy Farmers of America
Dairy Farming Today
International Dairy Foods Association
International Association of Ice Cream Distributors and Vendors
National Ice Cream Retailers of Association
–Researched, compiled & written by Brooke Auxier
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