Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offered the following statement in support of America’s dairy industry, in advance of National Milk Day, which will be celebrated on Thursday, January 11. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack visited the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, Pa., which is the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event. While there, he met with several dairy farmers and business owners who are contributing to local and regional food systems in and around Pennsylvania, and announced a $26 million Regional Food Systems Infrastructure grant that will help increase capacity and resilience in middle-of-the-supply chain activities, including dairy processing.
“On National Milk Day, we celebrate the historic moment in 1878 when milk was first delivered to homes in sterilized glass bottles, marking a turning point that made milk more accessible and a vital source of nutrition for families across the country. Our dairy farmers are the unsung heroes behind every glass of milk, working tirelessly to ensure families receive essential nutrients at the dinner table. Thanks to their innovation and productivity, high-quality dairy products can be relied upon as a component of nutritious school meals, at child and adult food service programs, and by families who participate in WIC—an important, evidence-based nutrition program that is gaining new participants at historic levels. Through active support for international trade, specialized safety net programs like the Dairy Margin Coverage Program, popular conservation programs like Environmental Quality Incentives Program, dedicated Dairy Business Innovation Centers, and more, USDA is committed to helping the America’s dairy industry remain competitive, access new and better markets, and keep their family businesses in operation for the long-term. At USDA, we are honored to work alongside America’s dairy producers as they provide necessary, nutritious dairy products to communities nationwide. Next time you enjoy a glass of milk, a slice of cheese, or a cup of yogurt, remember that these products are a result of the hard work and dedication of America’s dairy farmers.”
USDA’s Economic Research Service reports that in 2022, 226.46 billion pounds of milk were produced in the U.S., generating $57.51 billion (source). Milk cash receipts in Pennsylvania were $2.6 billion in 2022, putting them at their highest level since 2014. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, The U.S. dairy industry supports 3.2 million jobs (source), including 134,600 jobs in Pennsylvania (source).