The U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog: Market Analysis, Research & News
  • Labor Day quiz: How many jobs does dairy support in YOUR state?

    By USDEC August 28, 2019 has fresh data on jobs, tax revenue, GDP, exports and more—all showing how dairy helps drive the economy.

    A clearinghouse of information managed by three dairy organizations has updated data and new resources that quantifies dairy's economic ripple effect with granular detail. resources include:

    • Fact sheets showing dairy’s impact on the national economy and each of the 48 continental U.S. states.
    • Fact sheets quantifying dairy exports. 
    • Videos about dairy's top 10 jobs-generating states. 



    In time for Labor Day, the portal shows how the dairy industry is a jobs machine affecting Americans coast-to-coast in ways they may find surprising: 

    For example, nationally the dairy industry deserves credit for:

    • Supporting more than 3 million jobs.
    • Generating $64 billion in tax revenue.
    • Contributing 3% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).


    The economic information is relevant for anyone in any state who cares about jobs, taxes,  and the need for trade agreements that level the international playing field so the U.S. dairy industry can compete to win, creating more jobs back home. is collaboratively managed by the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), with each organization contributing research and analysis so the U.S. dairy industry can speak with one voice.


    Got Jobs? Dairy Does.

    The site launched in May 2018 with an original plan to update and disseminate information on every state for one year. Results included:

    • More than 2,000 social media mentions and 500 news articles of "dairy" appearing within five words of "jobs," according to monitoring by Meltwater News.
    • More than 400 pieces of content—including fact sheets, infographics, articles and videos -- created by the three sponsoring organizations. 
    • More than 50 dairy groups beyond Washington utilizing these resources to tell dairy's economic impact story in their states and local communities.

    The three Washington-based dairy organizations decided to continue the collaborative effort through 2020, an election year. The portal includes fresh analysis from the U.S. Dairy Export Council about exports and updated data for 2019 from Dairy Delivers®,  IDFA's economic impact tool,

    The past year has been another difficult one for dairy farmers facing low milk prices. An average of seven dairy farms are going out of business every day as the industry consolidates, according to NMPF.

    Nonetheless, the overall number of jobs dairy supports increased from 2.9 million to 3 million, according to Dairy Delivers®. That can be explained by dairy's powerful economic ripple effect adding employment for other industries such as retail and construction. 

    Other interesting findings from the updated Dairy Delivers℠ include:

    • The U.S. dairy products industry has an overall economic impact of nearly $620 billion.
    • California is the state with the most dairy-related jobs — 102,225 direct jobs and 313,826 indirect jobs, or a total of 416,051.
    • Wisconsin is the state with the highest gross domestic product attributed to dairy (17.8%).
    • The dairy industry provides $64.5 billion in tax revenue (state, local and federal combined).

    An analysis by the U.S. Dairy Export Council shows the economic impact of exports, with California again leading the way, supporting more than 12,000 jobs from dairy exports alone. 

    With fair trade agreements, U.S. dairy products and ingredients can compete with those sold by any country. Some are surprised, for example, to learn that the U.S. was the largest single-country exporter of cheese in 2018, exceeding exports from well-known cheese countries like France and Italy.

    Succeeding overseas requires more than just a quality product. It needs access to other markets. 

    That's why USDEC, NMPF and IDFA have been educating the public about the projected economic benefits of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), awaiting congressional passage.

    “Securing markets for Made-in-America agricultural products means increased economic opportunities for our dairy farmers, manufacturers and rural communities here at home,” USDEC President and CEO Tom Vilsack said last week at an appearance in his home state of Iowa.

    In Iowa alone, the U.S. dairy industry supports more than 48,000 jobs, contributes $338 million in state taxes and is responsible for 6% of Iowa's GDP.




    In a way, the economic argument for dairy is simple:

    1. U.S. Dairy creates jobs.
    2. Exports create more jobs.
    3. Free-trade agreements level the playing field for U.S. Dairy to generate more exports that create more jobs.

    Learn more:

    Subscribe to the U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog    

    The U.S. Dairy Export Council fosters collaborative industry partnerships with processors, trading companies and others to enhance global demand for U.S. dairy products and ingredients. USDEC is primarily supported by Dairy Management Inc. through the dairy farmer checkoff. How to republish this post.  

    Dairy Got Jobs? #GotDairyJobs
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