Dairy in the Midwest

Dairy farmers are committed to our communities

Midwest Dairy Farms

Dairy farming is vital to our communities. It’s a way of life for the men and woman who live and work on America’s 47,000 dairy farms. And, dairy is essential to the health of communities across the country because it contributes jobs, income and economic vitality.

Here’s a quick look at dairy farming facts and figures:

  • Dairy farmers support rural communities in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
  • There are about 47,000 dairy farms in the United States, including about 8,000 in the Midwest Dairy’s 10 states.
  • About 97 percent of U.S. dairy farms are family owned and operated.
  • There are approximately 9.31 million dairy cows in the United States. The average herd size is 187 cows.
  • The value of all milk products sold from U.S. dairy farms is more than $35.91 billion.
  • Where milk goes, jobs follow. From farm to processor to distribution and retail, dairy creates jobs that support the economic well-being of rural and urban America.
  • Dairy farms sustain rural America. Even under the nation’s current economic challenges, dairy farmers and companies are a lifeline to more than 900,000 jobs in the United States.
  • Milk is local. It takes about 48 hours for milk to travel from dairy farms to the store.

Learn more about dairy in the Midwest: MN | ND | SD | NE | IA | IL | KS | MO | AR | OK

Minnesota

The Otte Family of Square Deal Dairy in Randolph, MN (Photo Credit: Dairy Star)

  • In the state of Minnesota, there are 3,470 licensed dairy herds.
  • Minnesota is the 7th largest milk-producing state in the U.S.
  • Minnesota dairy farms produced approximately 1,100 million gallons of milk in 2015.
  • Minnesota farms generate approximately$1.66 billion in milk sales annually.
  • Dairy products are the 4th largest agricultural commodity in Minnesota.
  • In Minnesota, the average dairy cow produces about 6.6 gallons of milk per day. That’s more than 2,392 gallons of milk over the course of a typical year.
  • Minnesota has 36 plants that process one or more dairy products.
  • It takes about 48 hours for milk to travel from the farm to the dairy case.

North Dakota

North Dakota Dairy Farms

The Qual family of Qual Dairy in Lisbon, N.D.

  • In the state of North Dakota, there are about 90 licensed dairy herds.
  • North Dakota is the 35th largest milk-producing state in the U.S.
  • North Dakota dairy farms produced approximately 39 million gallons of milk in 2015.
  • North Dakota farms generate approximately $57 million in milk sales annually.
  • In North Dakota, the average dairy cow produces about 6.6 gallons of milk per day. That’s more than 2,412 gallons of milk over the course of a typical year.
  • North Dakota has 5 plants that process one or more dairy products.
  • It takes about 48 hours for milk to travel from the farm to the dairy case.

South Dakota

South Dakota Dairy Farms

The Reuvekamp family of Hilltop Dairy in Elkton, South Dakota

  • In the state of South Dakota, there are about 255 licensed dairy herds.
  • South Dakota is the 20th largest milk-producing state in the U.S
  • South Dakota dairy farms produced approximately 274 million gallons of milk in 2015.
  • South Dakota farms generate approximately $436 million in milk sales annually.
  • In South Dakota, the average dairy cow produces about 7 gallons of milk per day. That’s more than 2,587 gallons of milk over the course of a typical year.
  • South Dakota has 10 plants that process one or more dairy products.
  • It takes about 48 hours for milk to travel from the farm to the dairy case.

Nebraska

Nebraska Dairy Farms

The Engelman family of Classic Dairy Inc. in Jansen, Neb.

  • In the state of Nebraska, there are about 185 licensed dairy herds.
  • Nebraska is the 26th largest milk-producing state in the U.S.
  • Nebraska dairy farms produced approximately 151 million gallons of milk in 2015.
  • Nebraska farms generate more than $232 million in milk sales annually.
  • In Nebraska, the average dairy cow produces about 7 gallons of milk per day. That’s more than 2,620 gallons of milk over the course of a typical year.
  • Nebraska has 7 plants that process one or more dairy products.
  • It takes about 48 hours for milk to travel from the farm to the dairy case.

Iowa

Dairy Farming Family

The Bolin Family of New Day Dairy in Clarksville, IA

  • In the state of Iowa, there are about 1,360 licensed dairy herds.
  • Iowa is the 12th largest milk-producing state in the U.S.
  • Iowa dairy farms produced approximately 562 million gallons of milk in 2015.
  • Iowa farms generate approximately $837 million in milk sales annually.
  • In Iowa, the average dairy cow produces about 7 gallons of milk per day. That’s more than 2,667 gallons of milk over the course of a typical year.
  • Iowa has 14 plants that process one or more dairy products.
  • It takes about 48 hours for milk to travel from the farm to the dairy case.

Illinois

Illinois Dairy Farms

The Bohnert family of Bohnert Jerseys in Silvis, Ill.

  • In the state of Illinois, there are 680 licensed dairy herds.
  • Illinois is the 21st largest milk-producing state in the U.S.
  • Illinois dairy farms produced approximately 220 million gallons of milk in 2015.
  • Illinois farms generate more than $334 million in milk sales annually.
  • In Illinois, the average dairy cow produces more than 6 gallons of milk per day. That’s more than 2,340 gallons of milk over the course of a typical year.
  • Illinois has 24 plants that process one or more dairy products.
  • It takes about 48 hours for milk to travel from the farm to the dairy case.

Kansas

Kansas Dairy Farms

The Leach Family of Lin-Crest Farms in Linwood, Kan.

  • In the state of Kansas, there are about 300 licensed dairy herds.
  • Kansas is the 19th largest milk-producing state in the U.S.
  • Kansas dairy farms produced approximately 369 million gallons of milk in 2015.
  • Kansas farms generate approximately $537 million in milk sales annually.
  • In Kansas, the average dairy cow produces about 7 gallons of milk per day. That’s more than 2,585 gallons of milk over the course of a typical year.
  • Kansas has 5 plants that process one or more dairy products.
  • It takes about 48 hours for milk to travel from the farm to the dairy case.

Missouri

Atteberry Dairy Farms Conway, Missouri

The Atteberry family of Atteberry Farms in Conway, Missouri

  • In the state of Missouri, there are about 1,190 licensed dairy herds.
  • Missouri is the 25th largest milk-producing state in the U.S.
  • Missouri dairy farms produced approximately 158 million gallons of milk in 2015.
  • Missouri farms generate approximately $252 million in milk sales annually.
  • In Missouri, the average dairy cow produces about 4.9 gallons of milk per day. That’s more than 1,803 gallons of milk over the course of a typical year.
  • Missouri has 30 plants that process one or more dairy products.
  • It takes about 48 hours for milk to travel from the farm to the dairy case.

Arkansas

Arkansas Dairy Farms

The Anglin family of Triple A Farms in Bentonville, Ark.

  • In the state of Arkansas, there are about 70 licensed dairy herds.
  • Arkansas is the 43rd largest milk-producing state in the U.S.
  • Arkansas dairy farms produced approximately 10.6 million gallons of milk in 2015.
  • Arkansas farms generate approximately $16 million in milk sales annually.
  • In Arkansas, the average dairy cow produces about 4.1 gallons of milk per day. That’s more than 1,512 gallons of milk over the course of a typical year.
  • Arkansas has 3 plants that process one or more dairy products.
  • It takes about 48 hours for milk to travel from the farm to the dairy case.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Dairy Farms

The Coblentz family of Coblentz Dairy Farm in Chouteau, Okla.

  • In the state of Oklahoma, there are about 170 licensed dairy herds.
  • Oklahoma is the 30th largest milk-producing state in the U.S.
  • Oklahoma dairy farms produced approximately 84 million gallons of milk in 2015.
  • Oklahoma farms generate approximately $134 million in milk sales annually.
  • In Oklahoma, the average dairy cow produces about 5.9 gallons of milk per day. That’s more than 2,146 gallons of milk over the course of a typical year.
  • Oklahoma has 4 plants that process one or more dairy products.
  • It takes about 48 hours for milk to travel from the farm to the dairy case.

These statistics were compiled from the following sources: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Services, State Departments of Agriculture, International Dairy Foods Association and Dairy management, Inc. ©2015

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