California Milk Tops the Charts as Leading Ag Product

1993 was a happy year for California and a sad one for The Dairy State, Wisconsin. It was the year that California overtook Wisconsin to become the top dairy producer in the U.S. While advertising campaigns to promote consumption of California dairy and milk products have included controversial ads such as "Happy Cows", the importance of the dairy industry in California isn't a joke. A drop in the value of milk and milk profits by nearly 30% in 2009 significantly impacted the livelihood of small mom & pop farms. With fuel prices recently skyrocketing, this can't be good news for consumers, either, when it comes to buying milk, ice cream, cheese and yogurt.

(Photo on top shows Central Coast cows grazing along Interstate 101)

Milk and dairy products are the top agriculture revenue generator-exceeding any other crops, flower, food or farm products. Milk is the key ingredient as a stand alone product, but it is also used in ice cream, yogurt, cheese and butter. With the focus on fine foods such as artisan cheeses (to accompany California wines,) and the crafty, new products such as yogurts that taste like and include everything under the sun, milk is big. As top producer of milk in the U.S., the state is responsible for approx. 20% of the nation's milk and milk products.

Milk facts:

California is the nation's top ice cream producer -it takes 5 gallons of milk to make one gallon of ice cream.

Tulare County produces the most milk of any county in California.

California produces around 41.2 billion pounds of milk in one year.

One dairy cow produces 22,000 pounds of milk in a year.

One of the most important cheeses in the U.S. was invented in California, Monterey Jack.

The first commercial dairy may have originated in California in 1857 at Point Reyes along the coast north of San Francisco.

99% of California dairy farms are family owned operations.


If you want to save on Real California Milk at Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Walgreens, Target, 7-Eleven, Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs, Stater Bros., Food 4 Less, Superior Grocers, Lucky and Longs Drugs, visit and save 55cents the next time you go to the store to buy milk in California.

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