Value-Added Agriculture - Dairy


Iowa has tremendous resources: water, people, and feed, transportation infrastructure, dairy heritage and consistent top markets; describing a place with competitive advantage in all the main categories. Iowa is a place with always competitive costs and high prices for milk. Country View Dairy Produces High Quality YogurtIowa has all the comparative advantages which drive naturally to competitive business advantages for dairy industry stakeholders operating here.

Dairy cows and the economic activity that they generate in the local economy have always and continue to be one of the most robust economic stimuli that exist. The most recent IMPLAN model (2011) quantifies that fact with the following statistics.

  • $23,445 is the total economic impact per cow through direct/indirect and induced commerce.
  • Each cow generates the equivalent of .1 full time job created throughout the entire dairy and processing sectors.
  • Over 22,000 jobs are supported by the activities directly, indirectly and induced by a strong dairy presence.

Nationally, Iowa ranks 12th in total pounds of milk produced. Iowa has 204,000 milk cows in production on over 1,400 dairy farms, producing 4.35 billion pounds of milk. (Source: NASS) In addition, there are more than 200 dairy goat operations. Consistent with national trends, the total number of dairy farms has declined, yet the production per cow and total production both continue to increase with averages of 21,309 pounds of milk produced per cow. Increases in production are a result of dedicated producers and support industries utilizing or providing access to new technologies, improved feed efficiencies and operation management.

Access the full Iowa's Dairy Industry, An Economic Review  

Contact the IADG Staff for assistance with your next dairy project.