Economic Impact

Dairy is the second–largest agricultural commodity produced in Washington and an important contributor to the state’s economy. Washington ranks 10th in total milk production and 4th in milk production per cow among the 50 United States. The total economic impact of dairying in Washington is valued at over $3.2 billion per year. In addition to the jobs and tax revenues dairy farms generate, more than 50% of local dairy production is exported to destinations in Asia and around the globe — a major advantage for a trade-dependent state such as Washington. Dairy farms can be found in 27 Washington counties, providing jobs and supporting other businesses in their communities. With the highest minimum wage in the industry, dairy farms create a better standard of living for farm workers and fuel increased local economic development. And milk doesn't stay on the farm — where milk goes, money goes, strengthening rural communities and benefiting Washington’s entire economy along the way.