The Massive Effect The Dairy Industry Has On Wisconsin's Bottom Line

When you think of Wisconsin, a few things probably come to mind: "Happy Days," Frank Lloyd Wright, seemingly endless stretches of farmland, state parks, diehard sports fans, beer, and cheese. That last item is one that people all around the world associate with Wisconsin and, plain and simply, can't get enough of. Cheese — along with other beloved, dairy products such as milk, butter, yogurt, and ice cream — is among the top sources of income for the Badger State. Dairy has, without a doubt, become emblematic of the territory's history and culture, and for valid reasons. In fact, Wisconsin produces 2.6 billion pounds of milk per month, in addition to nearly half of the nation's specialty cheeses, per Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.

By now, we all know that drinking milk and eating foods that are rich in calcium and essential vitamins helps our bodies grow. But just how much does the dairy industry help an entire state's wealth grow?

The dairy industry contributes billions to Wisconsin's economy annually

Here's something to chew on: The average American consumes approximately 655 pounds of milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and butter in a single year, according to the International Dairy Foods Association. This appetizing — and perhaps astonishing — bit of info says a lot about where a healthy amount of our darling dairy products come from. It also reflects the enormous economic impact of dairy. According to Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, the dairy industry alone rakes in more than $45 billion for the state every single year. There are also around 154,000 Sconnies employed in the craft, whether they work on one of 6,500 dairy farms, in a cheesemaking factory, an ice cream plant, or any number of other businesses. Dare we say that Wisconsin is the cream of the crop when it comes to generating income — and mouthwateringly good milk-based provisions?

June not only marks the onset of summer, but also National Dairy Month, a time to recognize the hard-working folks who help create some of the best indulgences on earth. The data shows that Wisconsin knows a thing or two about whipping up heaps of cheesy, creamy, buttery deliciousness, and that fact is definitely worth celebrating — provided you're not dairy-free, of course.