According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, dairy contributes $43.4 billion dollars to the state’s economy, providing food, jobs and public services to the area. In honor of this substantial contribution and June Dairy Month, here are some fast facts on the dairy industry in Wisconsin.
According to the Wisconsin Agricultural Service, U.S.D.A. National Agricultural Service, and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Wisconsin:
- Has 9,520 licensed dairy farms and 1,279,000 dairy cows;
- Produces 23,552 pounds/ 2,739 gallons of milk per cow each year;
- Produces 3,167,495,000 pounds of cheese, accounting for 26.2 percent of the United States total.
- The first official Wisconsin cheese was created by Anne Pickett of Lake Mills in 1841. The historic feat was accomplished when Pickett combined milk from her neighbors’ cows to that of her own.
- According to the U.S.D.A. National Agricultural Service in 2012, 96 percent of dairy farms in Wisconsin are family owned.
- In 1939, the phrase “America’s Dairyland” was added to the Wisconsin license plate by the legislature, after earning the title in 1930.
- Of the total agricultural contribution to the Wisconsin economy, nearly half comes from dairy alone, according to the University of Wisconsin, Department of Agriculture & Applied Economics.
- The first dairy school in the United States was established in the 1890 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- From 2006 to 2016, milk production in the state of Wisconsin increased by 28.7 percent, and cheese production by 29.1 percent, according to the U.S.D.A. National Agricultural Service.
- The farm of Craig and Laura Beane in Jefferson County held the first organized diary breakfast in 1970.
- If Wisconsin were its own country, it would rank fourth in cheese production in the world, according to the USDA National Agricultural Service, EuroStat Online Database, and U.S.D.A. Foreign Agricultural Service, Production, Supply and Distribution Online Database.
- It takes 21.2 pounds of milk to make 1 pound of butter, according to the U.S.D.A.
Source: Fond Du Lac Reporter