June is Dairy Month!

June is National Dairy Month; a great opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate California’s dairy industry, dairy farmers, and the nutritious dairy products they provide us. Originally established by grocers, as a way to distribute extra milk during the warm summer months, June Dairy Month has been a tradition since 1937.

Not surprising, California has been the lead dairy producing state in the nation, since 1993. California Farmland Trust is proud to partner with the Magneson family to ensure their dairy would be permanently protected forever, with an agricultural conservation easement (ACE) that was placed on the dairy in 2006. Understanding the process and the value of an ACE, the Magneson’s added an additional ACE to another property with irrigated pasture in 2019.

“Our family decided to pursue an ACE so that our farmland would be used for agriculture permanently. We have seen too much farmland land developed,” shared Pam Magneson.
Magneson Dairy is an organic dairy farm along the Merced River in Merced County, near the town of Ballico. Purchased in 1890 by Charles and Christina Magneson, the 383 acres of prime farmland produce corn, wheat, and permanent pasture for 700 cows. In an effort to continue to be good environmental stewards of the land, the Magneson’s have regularly made improvements on the land that benefit the cows, as well as local wildlife.

The Magneson’s understand why it is important to protect farmland and encourage others to think about what will happen to their farmland far into the future. California Farmland Trust works with landowners, so we can keep farmers doing what they do best – producing nutritious foods, caring for animals, and protecting the environment.

We couldn’t fully celebrate dairy month, without sharing a great family recipe. Thank you, Pam Magneson, for sharing another tasty, family recipe!

Caprese Pasta Salad
12 ounces rotini pasta (I use gluten free)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed or pearls
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
2-3 fresh basil tops for garnish


3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3-4 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Cook pasta until done. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Combine with other ingredients in a large bowl.
To make dressing, combine ingredients in a jar and shake.
Crunched for time? Substitute with store bought dressing.
Pour dressing on salad and toss.