Sunday, April 4, 2010
This is a photo of my husband, Lad, and our youngest son, Jack. We hope to pass our love of dairy onto our children.
Dairy farmers are a small percentage of the population representing less than 1%. In 2009, there were 54,942 licensed dairy farms in the U.S. That’s 58% less dairy farms than just 18 years ago. The U.S. loses approximately 5% of its dairy farms annually.
In December 2009, U.S. dairy cow numbers stood at 9.082 million. The average number of cows per herd is 167. The 1,650 dairies with 1,000 or more cows produced 46.7% of the nation’s milk supply in 2009. Regardless of size, 99% of all dairy farms are family-owned.
In 2009, U.S. cows produced 189.3 billion pounds of milk. The top five milk producing states in the nation are California, Wisconsin, New York, Idaho and Pennsylvania. Of all the milk produced in the U.S., 40% goes to cheese production (26% of cheese is consumed on pizza and 5% on cheeseburgers) and 33% goes to fluid milk we drink. Approximately 10% of U.S. milk is exported annually.
The dairy farmer is aging. The average age of U.S. dairy farmers is 55. About 2% of dairy farmers are under 35 years old.
My home state of Ohio ranks #11 for milk production. Ohio is home to 272,000 milk cows on 3,276 dairy farms. The average number of milk cows per herd is 83. The dairy industry provides Ohio residents with more than 14,750 full and part time jobs.