Newly-released numbers showcase the thriving dairy industry and its economic impact in the state of Idaho and throughout the world. The University of Idaho’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) studied the industry and completed its economic impact study. The Idaho dairy industry is the 3rd largest dairy-producing state in the country in 2014 thus far, and has large contributions to the employment and economic foundation in Idaho. 

Tony VanderHulst, President of IDA, stated “we use these economic impact studies to quantify our industries financial contributions to rural communities and the state. The study clearly shows we have a thriving and healthy dairy industry in Idaho. With the current robust dairy economy it can only be anticipated that the economic contributions for 2014 will increase significantly.” 

The Idaho dairy industry is comprised of both dairy producers and processors. Findings from the economic study include (all from 2012 data):

Every job on a dairy operation generates another 2.2 jobs. The Idaho dairy industry generates over 23,000 jobs in Idaho.

With $2.42 billion in cash receipts from the sale of milk, dairy production is significantly the top source of income generated in Idaho agriculture production sector. 

Idaho dairy contributed more than $2.2 billion to the state’s gross domestic product

Combining the dairy producer’s sales with the dairy processors sales the Idaho dairy industry is responsible for generating $6.6 billion in sales. 

The Idaho dairy industry contributed $72 million to the state in taxes. 

According to Dr. Phil Watson, the author of the study, “everyone understood the positive financial influence that the dairy industry had in rural Idaho. What the study clearly shows is that Idaho’s dairy industry is responsible for generating a significant portion of the state’s total jobs, wages, and GDP”.