June is National Dairy Month, and nobody understands the benefits of the dairy industry like Wisconsinites. Wisconsin has earned the nickname “America’s Dairyland” for a reason – the dairy industry is the largest segment of Wisconsin agriculture, contributing $45.6 billion to our state economy on an annual basis- dwarfing other industries such as Florida citrus and Idaho potatoes.
Wisconsin dairy farms make up about a quarter of all dairy farms in the country, which contributes about $86,000 per minute to Wisconsin’s economy. That accounts for about half of Wisconsin’s $104.8 billion agricultural industry. 95% of Wisconsin dairy farms are family owned. Wisconsin is also the top cheese making state in the country, producing 25% of all of America’s cheese.
Our state is not just known for the quantity of cheese produced, but for the quality of it as well. Wisconsin cheeses won 45 Best in Class titles at the 2022 World Championship Cheese Contests, the largest cheese competition in the world. Of the almost 3,000 entrants, Wisconsin placed seven in the top 20 overall.
June Dairy Month is a great reminder of the incredible impact that agriculture, and the dairy industry has on Wisconsin’s economy. Throughout the month, Wisconsin counties will host Dairy Breakfasts across the state demonstrating the positive impact that our dairy producers have on Wisconsin’s economy.
Whether it’s raising a glass of ice cold milk, buying some cheese curds at your local farmers market, or enjoying locally-made ice cream, I hope you all will join me in celebrating June Dairy Month and recognizing all of the good that the dairy industry does for our communities and our state.