Idaho is on track to surpass New York as the nation’s third largest milk producer after California and Wisconsin, generating 37 million pounds each day. Since January 2014, Idaho has outpaced New York in milk production and exported $213 million in cheese, dry milk, whey, butter and lactose, a 52 percent increase from previous years according to the latest state numbers.
“Increased milk production has been important to meet growing demand from our booming yogurt and cheese industry,” says Jan Rogers, executive director, Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization (SIEDO). “Cheese is now the number one export in Idaho and most of the state’s dairy production—72 percent or 27 million pounds daily—takes place in Southern Idaho where we also have the world’s largest yogurt manufacturing facility.”
Southern Idaho, known as America’s most diverse food basket, has recently attracted Chobani’s $450 million yogurt plant and Glanbia’s $15 million headquarters and Cheese Innovation Center. The region has also recently attracted investments from food giants Clif Bar, Monsanto and Frulact Group.
“The numbers show a stronger Idaho dairy industry economically in 2014 over the previous few years,” said Bob Naerebout, executive director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association.