Today, dairy farmers are active members of their local community and create an estimated 900,000 jobs in the United States alone! They are your friends and neighbors. But most important of all, they are dedicated to producing nutritious and tasty milk and dairy foods for all to enjoy. The history of dairy farming is fascinating – read on to learn more.

The History of Dairy Farming

Humans have been drinking milk from cows for thousands of years. Modern dairy farming began in the early 1900’s after pasteurization was developed and utilized widely. Pasteurization allows for a safer product and extends milk’s shelf life by eradicating spoilage-causing bacteria through the application of heat. This process allows milk to last longer and be shipped further.

Dairy farms have become more efficient over time, and this has helped farmers reduce their environmental impact.

Just in the 10 years from 2007 to 2017, dairy farms used…

less land
less water
less fuel

These improvements in environmental sustainability are due to the dedication of our dairy farm families. They work hard every day to ensure that the milk on your table is produced in the most efficient way possible.

Dairy Farmers

Most dairy farms are owned and maintained by families and have been for generations. Dairy farmers are experts at milk production and safety, farming best practices, and how to keep their herds healthy and content. Farmers invest countless hours into making the best product possible.


94% of U.S. dairy farms are still family owned and operated.

Dairy farms have grown significantly from their humble beginnings to meet the growing demand for dairy products. However, in many cases, these farms are still owned by relatives and descendants of the original owners. Whether the farm is large or small, farmers are committed to producing the highest quality product while taking care of the land they farm.

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