About Milk

Milk in the USA

  • Milk provides important caloric and nutritional value to adults and especially to children.
  • An overabundance of milk is produced in the US due to improved efficiencies, reduced demand for milk and fluctuations in exports.
  • Milk prices are currently so low that farmers are having a hard time making a living.
  • The cycle of over-production cannot be changed quickly because cows need to be milked 2-3 time per day, regardless of demand.
  • Farmers may feel trapped to continue as is because of their investments in and connections to their animals
  • Their investments in infrastructure may cause some farmers to carry a heavy debt load.
  • Modern dairy farms like the one shown here have milking parlors allowing many cows to be milked simultaneously by one or two workers.

Milk in Wisconsin

  • There were about 7,000 dairy farms in Wisconsin in 2020, each averaging about 150 cows.
  • Some farms milk as many as 3,000 cows. These need a permit from the state to reduce the potential of negative environmental impacts.
  • In 2018, Wisconsin produced a record 31.8 million pounds of milk.
  • About 95% of Wisconsin’s milk is made into cheese.
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