Kansas Dairy Industry

The dairy industry in Kansas is more than milk, its jobs and economic activity for the people of our state. Kansas is home to 173,000 milk cows, on a mixture of more than 228 large and small dairy farms -- all of which contribute to the local economy by supporting local businesses and the community tax base.            

> Kansas ranks 16th in the U.S. for milk production. Kansas dairies produced 4.1 billion pounds of milk in 2021.

> Kansas ranks 15th in the U.S. for milk output per cow.

> The value of milk produced in Kansas totaled more than $696 million in 2021.

> The average value of the milk a Kansas dairy cow produces in one day is about $11.36.

> The estimated direct impact of the Kansas dairy cattle and milk production sector is $696.5 million in output and 1,026 jobs. Including indirect and induced effects, the total impact of the sector on the Kansas economy reaches $1.4 billion in output and 4,018 jobs.

> In the state of Kansas, there are about 228 licensed dairy herds.

> In Kansas, the average dairy cow produces about 7.55 gallons of milk per day. That’s more than 2,755 gallons of milk over the course of a typical year.

> Kansas has six plants that produce one or more dairy products. Kansas also has nine on-farm or specialty processing facilities that produce milk, cheese and ice cream, among other products.

> In 2020, Kansas dairy exports totaled $124 million.

> Upon the completion of the Dairy Farmers of America milk powder plant in Garden City in 2017, about 75% of milk produced in Kansas will be processed within the state, generating greater economic development by capturing more dollars through value-added processes.

> Dairies create a ripple effect on the rural economies of Kansas. For every dollar a dairy farm spends, roughly $2.50 in wages and related business transactions is contributed to the local economy.

> Dairies offer jobs on the farm and throughout the industry in areas including trucking, breeding services and sales, repair services; and veterinary, pharmaceutical, nutrition and other consulting services.          

Kansas Dairy Farms, Then & Now Infographic