The U.S. dairy industry not only generates money by selling its products throughout the world, it’s also a major job creator, a recent study showed. And dairy industry leaders say those jobs and the tax revenues the dairy industry generates help support local, state and U.S. economies.
The U.S. Dairy Export Council, the International Dairy Foods Association and the National Milk Producers Federation recently launched their “Got Jobs? Dairy Creates Jobs, Exports Create More” campaign. The campaign is a collaborative effort to showcase the industry’s impact, said Jim Mulhern, chief operation officer of the National Milk Producers Federation.
“This is a significant and important collaboration between our three organizations. Our collective members from grass to glass all contribute to this larger narrative about the economic ripple effects of U.S. dairy production across the country,” Mulhern said.
The total economic impact of dairy products produced and sold specifically in the United States was $628.27 billion in 2017, a study released as part of the campaign’s launch, said. The industry supports more than 3 million jobs, the study said.
The U.S. dairy industry had an economic impact of $206.89 billion, the study shows. Nationally, the U.S. dairy industry supports the jobs of nearly 3 million workers, pays more than $39 billion in direct wages and generates more than $64 billion in federal and state tax revenues.
Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, said the study will be used in broader efforts to help educate lawmakers and others.
“I think this study equips all of us in the dairy industry to be more effective and helpful educators about the importance of the industry … as we continue to produce a safe, sustainably produced product that’s not only available here in the U.S. but throughout the entire world,” Vilsack said.
In Iowa, there was a total economic impact of dairy products produced and sold in the state of $11.32 billion. The state’s dairy industry supported 15,370 direct jobs and an additional 31,579 jobs were supported indirectly by the dairy industry through suppliers and the indirect impact of the industry’s expenditures, the study shows.
The Iowa dairy industry contributed more than $603 million in wages and more than $327 million in state tax revenues, the study showed. The state’s dairy industry contributed $569.31 million in federal taxes, and had an economic impact of $3.88 billion, according to the research.
The study plays into the large narrative of the importance of trade, Vilsack said.
“Many of the jobs are related to our ability of dairy producers and our dairy companies to be able to export dairy products throughout the world. This is certainly an important message for us to reinforce to push back a little bit on the anti-trade message that comes out from time to time,” he said.
For more information about the study, as well as a state-by-state breakdown of the U.S. dairy industry, go to www.gotdairyjobs.org.