Raise a glass of ice cold milk and toast the more than 50,000 dairy farmers across the United States. It’s because of them – and the 9.1 million dairy cows that live on their farms – that we can enjoy milk with our cereal, cheese on our burger, butter on our toast, and best of all, ice cream to wash it all down. Learn more about this important agriculture industry.
Top Dairy States
It’s little surprise that California and Wisconsin are the top two dairy states, but did you know that each has its dairy specialty? California is the No. 1 milk-producing state, and its “happy cows” represent more than 20 percent of the total U.S. milk production. Wisconsin, however, ranks first in cheese production, and it’s said that the state’s lush grasslands and glacial water supply are perfect for cheese-making. Other top dairy states are New York, Pennsylvania and Idaho.
Cool Facts about Dairy Cows
Learn some interesting facts about these bovine beauties.
1. The most common dairy cow in the U.S. is the Holstein (black and white spots). Holsteins represent 90 percent of the dairy cow population.
2. All cows have four chambers in their stomachs, each of which handles a different stage of the digestive process.
3. One cow can drink 35 gallons of water a day. That’s about how much it takes to fill your bathtub!
4. They also eat about 90 pounds of food a day. Quite an appetite!
5. It takes two days for a cow’s body to convert food into milk.
6. Since cows consume large amounts of food, they also produce large amounts of manure. Each cow produces about 65 pounds of solid waste each day, which is typically used as a natural fertilizer to replenish the soil of nearby cropland.