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Virginia Cooperative Extension - Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Virginia dairy industry facts

Dairy Pipeline: September 2003

Andy Overbay,
Dairy Science Extension Agent,
Southwest Virginia
(276) 223-6040

The dairy industry continues to be an important part of the local community. The following facts are just a few of the tidbits gleaned from material from the Virginia Farm Bureau and the Applied and Agricultural Economics Department at Virginia Tech. These facts help to highlight the importance of dairy producers to our State's economy.

Fact: Every $1 a farm grosses is worth $5-$7 to the local community. Profit or payment, every dollar you get paid in your milk check spins through the local economy between 5 and 7 times.

Fact: The average dairy cow in Virginia adds $9,000-$15,000 dollars of economic stimulus to her local economy each year. In other words, a small 50 cow dairy is worth nearly a half million dollars to local businesses.

Fact: It takes $31,000 per month to run the average Virginia dairy farm. This amounts to about $225 per cow per month. This figure does not include debt payments. Feed and labor account for 2/3 of this figure.

Fact: Given the fact that it takes $31,000 per month to operate the average dairy and that money circulates 5-7 times through a community, every time Virginia loses a dairy farm, it costs the local community $2,011,088.

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