I read an article on Farm Journal’s MILK that I found quite informative. In 2016, the number of licensed dairy farms dropped to 41,809. That is a 4% decline from 2015, according to the January milk production report of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Most people believe that poor milk prices and lower margins cause the decline in herd numbers. However, that may only be partly true. The rate of decay is constant year after year. One also has to consider the fact that many dairy farmers retire as soon as they reach 65.

States like Wisconsin and New York show the largest losses. Wisconsin went below 10,000 to 9900 in 2015. Of that number, 380 more Badger State farms gave up their licenses to sell milk in 2016. In New York, 180 dairy farms decided to close up shop in 2016. The new total in NY is 4,650.

Pennsylvania, which is known as the state with the second most number of dairy farms, only saw a decline of 1.7%, with 6,650 dairy farms left standing. This can be attributed to the fact that there are many Amish communities in the area and dairy is an important source of livelihood for them.

You can read the full article here. If you are looking for dairy farm numbers by state, you will find it on page 18 of the milk production report. For more interesting dairy news, visit our company website. You may also follow #ContinentalSearch on Facebook and LinkedIn for the latest dairy job openings.

Rick Pascual, CPC/ PRC • Recruiter


Rick Pascual recruits in dairy nutrition for feed companies and their suppliers across the USA. He joined Continental Search in January 2015 and has successfully filled a number of searches for nutritionists, sales, and sales management for leading companies.

After completing coursework and a grueling exam, he became a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) in November 2015, as well as a Professional Recruiting Consultant (PRC) by AIRS in April 2016. Visit his LinkedIn profile for more information and to stay updated with news about recent dairy trends.

Send Rick your resume at rick@consearch.com. Call him at (302) 544-9288.