PURDY, Mo. — Local dairy farmers are using “National Dairy Month” to discuss the recent hardships the industry has faced.

“Milk is actually 96-percent fat-free, did you know that?” said Juliette Albrecht, owner of Grassi Milk Dairy.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture — liquid-milk consumption hit an all-time low in 2021 — at about 16 gallons per person — per year.

That was down 13 gallons from when officials began tracking figures in 1975.

This has local dairy farmers trying to break the stigmas associated with having a glass of milk.

“It has been pushed as an unhealthy product that makes you gain weight, to the contrary, it is not at all. But it is what has been pushed, because they have advocated that, or say that it is a way to gain weight, but it’s not the truth. It is actually one of the healthiest products that you can intake,” said Albrecht.

Juliette Albrecht is the owner of “Grassi Milk-Dairy Farm” and says it’s statements like these that have tarnished the dairy industry, as well as the recent trends of almond and oat milks.

“They hurt us because number one, it’s not actually milk. I feel strongly that milk should be animal-based, not plant-based. So they are pushing a product that isn’t always telling the truth. And the reason you see the highs and the lows of the soy and almond milk is because it is exactly that, a trend. Look back at these girls, they have a sustained history of excellence,” said Albrecht.

Albrecht says it’s not all bad news for dairy farmers…there are still 400 Grade-A licensed dairy farms in the state of Missouri, and dairy consumption as a whole in the country rose by 12 percent.

She is hoping through the awareness of Dairy Month, those who have gone away from the product will give it another shot.

“If you have been turned off about dairy in the past, give it another chance because there are so many healthy products out there that regardless of age, diet, taste, anything – you can find it in dairy products. So if you’ve been turned off for any reason, just give it another try!” said Albrecht.