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Dairy Facts

How much milk does one cow produce? How often are they milked? What do they eat? Just the facts here.

Number of dairy farms in the United States

Percentage of American dairy farms that are family owned

135 cows
Average size of a dairy herd in the United States

21 billion
Gallons of milk produced in the United States each year

Percentage of milk produced in the United States that is exported to other countries

Number one milk producing state in the United States (Wisconsin is number two)

Number of people employed in the dairy industry in California alone

22,775 lbs.
Average annual amount of milk produced per cow in the US (USDA-ERS, 2016)

8.6 lbs.
Weight of one gallon of milk

59,298 lbs.
Record amount of milk produced by a single cow in a year (almost 7000 gallons)

Approximate number of squirts in a gallon of milk

Glasses of milk produced by a cow over her lifetime

Typical number of times cows are milked each day
* some dairy operations milk cows three times per day

~3 gallons
Amount of milk to make one gallon of ice cream

~30 cups
Amount of milk required to make one pound of butter

Number of stomachs in a cow (it has four compartments)

1,300 lbs.
Typical weight of a mature dairy cow
* This is for a Holstein, the most popular dairy breed inthe US. Jersey cows, also popular due in part to their higher milk fat concentration, are typically around 1,000 lbs.

90 lbs.
Average weight of a newborn calf. Will vary depending on breed.

50 lbs.
Amount of feed (dry matter basis) consumed by a dairy cow each day. This figure does not include the amount of water in the feed, which varies greatly, and the amount of water consumed by the animal through drinking.

Most common dairy breed in the United States

Percentage of daily recommended calcium intake provided by an 8-ounce glass of milk

Percentage milk fat in whole milk*
* Whole milk, as purchased in a retail outlet, must be, by law, at least 3.25% fat. Raw, unprocessed bovine milk is around 3.8% fat.

Official beverage of the State of Oklahoma

"America’s Dairyland"
Nickname of the State of Wisconsin. The state motto is "Forward".

Year Dr. Louis Pasteur developed pasteurization

Year when plastic milk jugs were introduced in the United States

For the most up-to-date dairy statistics, visit the USDA-ERS "Dairy Data": https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/dairy-data/

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