Dairy farming isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s early mornings and late nights, lots of hard work and doing more with less — but dairy farmers will say it’s all worth it when you’re doing what you love and nourishing your community with delicious dairy foods.
Did you know that 94% of U.S. dairy farms are family-owned and operated? Ohio and West Virginia dairy farm families work on about 1,600 dairy farms to produce approximately 663 million gallons of milk a year. These families are passionate about caring for their cows, protecting their natural resources and ensuring the milk they provide is safe and nutritious.
Providing Top-notch Care
Caring for animals is an around-the-clock job — seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. Dairy farmers care for their cows and calves by providing a nutritious diet, good medical care and healthy living conditions.
Dairy farmers work closely with veterinarians, animal nutritionists and other professionals to keep their cows healthy and comfortable. Their cows receive periodic checkups, vaccinations and prompt treatment when needed.
Protecting the Environment
Because the majority of dairy farmers in Ohio and West Virginia live on or near the land that they farm, they understand the importance of protecting our natural resources and advancing sustainable agriculture practices that reduce our environmental footprint.
Dairy farmers work with experts to continually find ways to reduce the energy they use, conserve water and develop renewable energy sources. For example, they recycle manure to use as a natural fertilizer for crops and reuse water to clean their their milking parlors and barns.
Contributing to Communities
Ohio and West Virginia dairy farmers do more than just produce milk and nutritious dairy foods; they create jobs, contribute to their local communities and drive the economy.
Most Americans live within 100 miles of a dairy farm — making dairy farms the ultimate local businesses! The total economic impact of dairy products produced and sold in Ohio is $30.6 billion, which generates 133,200 jobs for Ohioans. In West Virginia, the dairy industry generates $1.67 billion and 10,900 jobs for West Virginians.