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6 facts you didn’t know about American milk production

Milk production in our fair land is kind of a big deal. I don’t know about you, but I had very little idea about the numbers and percentages we as a county contribute to the dairy world. Did you know almost half of the US’s milk production is made into cheese? How cool is that??


  1. Milk Productions occurs in all 50 states, but 53% of the milk produced comes from only 5 states. Let’s give it up for California, Idaho, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New York!
  2. There are over 51,481 licensed dairy farms and 9.2 million dairy cows in the United States. Roughly 95% of those dairy farms are family owned just like ours.
  3. Dairy farms in America produce 192.6 billion pounds of milk in a year.
  4. 43% of that milk is made into cheese (yay cheese!), while 21.6% is sold as fluid milk and the remaining 35.3% is made into other products like butter, dry milk, frozen products, etc.
  5. 1,278 dairy plants produced 199.4 billion pounds of dairy products. The average distance milk has to travel from the farm to a processing plant is 275 miles. Our milk travels a little over 9 miles to the Darigold plant in Lynden… whatever is left over from making cheese that is.
  6. 13.3% of dairy products are exported, while the average American spent about 6% of their food budget on dairy products for their homes. In a balanced diet, milk and dairy foods can supply 70% of the calcium and 18% of the protein a body needs to be healthy.


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