To emphasize the importance of a healthy dairy sector to the overall U.S. economy, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) commissioned an economic research firm to quantify that impact.
The IDFA-branded tool, Dairy Delivers, can be found on the organization’s website at idfa.org. The tool allows each user to learn dairy’s economic impact for each state as well as congressional districts.
“With the administration so heavily focused on creating and keeping jobs in America, we needed to hammer home how much we (dairy) contribute to those efforts,” explained Michael Dykes, IDFA’s president and CEO during the organization’s annual Dairy Forum gathering in Palm Desert, Calif.
What does the data show?
“Dairy food companies employ nearly 1 million skilled individuals. We generate more than $39 billion in direct wages and have an overall economic impact of more than $200 billion,” explained Dykes.
“And those numbers couldn’t happen without the abundant milk supply provided by our dairy farmer partners throughout the country and the reliable and innovative suppliers who serve our industry so well,” he said.
Food and agriculture tops manufacturing
“Knowing that these numbers provide a powerful punch to our efforts, we didn’t stop with dairy,” said Dykes of the project carried out by Dunham and Associates.
“In November, IDFA and 21 other food industry trade associations launched a new website called Feeding the Economy. This data demonstrates that food and agriculture is the largest manufacturing sector in the nation, with a major impact on the health of the U.S. economy,” explained Dykes.