Dairy’s positive impact on the US economy

A blog by the USA Dairy Exporter has highlighted how much dairy has a positive impact on the US economy.

The US dairy industry fuels the economy by creating jobs, funding government services and supporting family-owned businesses.

Dairy supports nearly 3 million jobs in the US, 1.98m of these are indirect, and the economic impact of dairy products produced and sold in the US totals $628 billion (€550bn) – equalling 1.09% of the US GDP in 2017.

A massive 95% of American dairy farms are family owned and operated.

In the state of Iowa alone, the dairy industry generates $327.8m (€286m) in tax revenue, which all helps to support the local services.

USDEC President and CEO Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor said: “When state and local taxes here in the state of Iowa approach $1 billion, that is a significant amount of money that provides assistance and help in terms of keeping libraries open, in being able to ensure that there are adequate police and firefighters on staff and to be able to make sure that schools are properly supported. It goes right down the line.”

The US has increased its dairy exports by over 600% since 1995 and now amounts to $5.5bn (€4.8bn) in annual sales. $1.3bn (€1.14bn) of this goes to Mexico alone. The US mostly exports cheese to Mexico, accounting for 28% of all US cheese exports.

Despite new tariffs on US dairy products sold to Mexico and China, exports are on track for a record year. Statistics through October 2018 show that on a total milk solids basis, US exports were equivalent to 16.3% of U.S. milk production.

An economic impact study forecast that new, retaliatory tariffs by Mexico and China combined could cost dairy farmers $4.5bn (€3.9bn) by 2019.

The US Dairy Export Council is working with the entire US dairy industry to lift exports from 15% of production to 20% of production.  If successful, it will generate even more jobs for the country and in every state.

The facts and illustrations come from “Got Jobs?,” a collaborative effort of The US Dairy Export Council, the National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association, working with dairy partners and news media across the US. 


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