June was celebrated as National Dairy Month, which naturally leads to July being National Ice Cream Month! Following are excerpts from articles by Shelly Detwiler, dietitian and contributing author for Ohio’s Country Journal, and Cris Goode, editor for My Indiana Home.

National Ice Cream month was designated in July 1984 by Ronald Reagan. Although the history of ice cream dates clear back to the fourth century B.C., kudos to President Reagan for giving ice cream the title it surely has deserved for centuries. In the U.S. before 1800, ice cream consumption was rare and enjoyed largely by the upper class. As technology improved, especially in the areas of mechanization and refrigeration, the production of ice cream increased, allowing everyone to enjoy a scoop. The International Dairy Foods Association states that the U.S. now produces over 1.6 billion gallons of ice cream a year. More than 10 percent of all milk produced goes to make ice cream, taking 12 pounds of milk for each gallon of ice cream made.

Indiana ranks No. 2 in ice cream production in the United States, second only to California. From small, local farms that produce unique flavors sure to tickle your taste buds to the go-to comfort flavors in our grocery stores that we rely on after a long day, Indiana knows her ice cream.

The familiar grocery store brand Edy’s Grand Ice Cream has an important Indiana connection: The company is headquartered in Fort Wayne.

“Edy’s is proud to call Indiana home because of the amazing people who work at our ice cream plant,” says Rick Benson, Edy’s human resource manager. “We have hundreds of highly motivated, dedicated and skilled Hoosiers who help us churn out millions of cartons of ice cream and frozen snacks each year. They not only ensure we create a quality product, but they continually raise the bar by improving the steps we take to accomplish this.”

Customers are sure to find their favorite flavors among Edy’s 12 premium ice cream flavors and its menu of Slow Churned products, which include 24 light flavors, nine with no sugar added and 11 yogurt-blend options. Edy’s also has a line of fun flavors such as the new Touchdown Sundae, along with favorites such as Cookie Dough. Their limited edition flavors, such as the popular Girl Scout Thin Mint, roll out seasonally.

Many of your family’s favorite ice cream brands are also located right here in Indiana. Prairie Farm Dairies, while headquartered in Illinois, also has a plant in Fort Wayne. And who doesn’t enjoy a Good Humor bar? Many of these summer treats are made in Huntington. And Kroger shoppers will be happy to discover that Crossroads Farms Dairy’s Kroger brand ice cream is produced in Indianapolis.

So, whether you are a lively and creative double chocolate chunk lover, a thoughtful and logical strawberry fan or a charming and practical rocky road loyalist, it is likely that a Hoosier had a hand in creating your favorite tasty treat.

Ice cream rocks this world, in moderation of course. No matter what fence ice cream is crossing, it’s sure to make a sweet difference. Be sure to celebrate National Ice Cream Month with a big healthy scoop! I can’t wait for mine.

Elysia RODGERS is the

agriculture and natural resources director for the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service in DeKalb County.

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