Dairy Systems Map

Dairy Systems are very complex!
  • Dairy farms can be large or small, but they all produce milk (grey boxes).
  • Some dairy farms produce organic milk and others produce conventional milk.
  • Some milk (like Sassy Cow) is processed right on site.
  • Most milk is picked up at the farm by a milk tanker owned by a co-op and taken to a processing plant (bright blue boxes).
  • Organic Valley bottles only organic milk from many farms.
  • Most processors bottle milk from conventional farms.
  • Baerwolf Farm has two herds–one organic and one conventional.
  • Sassy Cow Creamery bottles milk right at the Baerwolf Farm.
  • Sassy Cow Creamery milk sells directly to the Second Harvest Food Bank.
  • Most fluid milk is sold to schools, restaurants, grocery stores and food distributors.
  • Some milk plants have their own stores and sell directly to customers.
  • USDA buys milk that exceeds demand and donates it to the Community Action Coalition.
  • Farmers are paid by the USDA for milk and other commodities.
  • Policies at the federal, state and local levels influence how milk is distributed throughout the country
  • Food safety, which includes refrigeration, is the primary concern.
  • National Milk Producers Federation advocates for policies to help farmers.
  • National Milk Board promotes at the state and national level sale and use of dairy products.
  • The Innovation Center for US Dairy creates new products and conducts research.

Covid-19 has changed everything about how milk is being distributed and donated.

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