Summary and Implications
Those in the dairy industry need to recognize and promote dairy’s importance to the rest of the economy as each cow generates approximately $13,000 in economic activity in the form of jobs, goods and services created by a cow, along with paying taxes on the profits generated. Few recognize the ability of young producers especially to profit strongly with dairy as a career. For example, families in NE Iowa in 2000 and 2002 garnered approximately $100,000 net return to labor after an equity charge milking 100-140 cows with low/mediocre milk prices. In 2004, with much higher milk prices, the five model farms averaged $153,314 net return to labor with a decent quality of life as well, while one family, a seasonal dairy, achieved $244,141 net return to labor. Thus, it is quite possible to milk the dairy industry for high levels of profit.
Iowa State University
"Increasing Dairy Base with Millionaire Model Dairy Farms ,"
Animal Industry Report:
AS 652, ASL R2098.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/ans_air/vol652/iss1/31