Okay, in truth we have more favorite facts about the American and Arizona dairy industry than the list below. But these are pretty “top-of-the-charts.”

We’re so proud and appreciative of the dairy industry. All facts and details are provided by the United Dairymen of Arizona, the Arizona Milk Producers, and our Arizona dairy farmers.

Our top list of Dairy facts.

  1. Dairy cows are raised with the latest nutritional and technological innovations in dairy cow management for both healthy and humane animal handling practices.
  2. The two most common breeds are the Holstein and Jersey in Arizona. Jersey cows have a higher fat content. Holstein is the most common breed and is known for its black-and-white spots.
  3. On average, dairy farmers usually aim for their heifers to become pregnant at around 15 months of age so that they give birth when they are around two years old. A cow must be in lactation to give milk.
  4. Milk production per cow averages approximately 24,000 pounds per year, and they milk 305 days per year.  This is approximately 75 pounds daily. A cow will produce milk for five to 7 years.
  5. In general, a typical cow needs 100 pounds each day of a combination of hay, grain, silage and proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Dairy farms contract with nutritionists to prescribe just the right diet. And it’s different for every stage of the dairy cow’s life. They eat better than you and me.
  6. Dairy farms are daily managing manure including cleaning their pens. They recycle manure for compost and other purposes. Some even employ methane digesters that can produce methane gas to generate electricity.
  7. United Dairymen of Arizona is a Coop owned by the family dairies that pasteurize and process the milk.
  8. Pasteurization is the process in which packaged and non-packaged foods are treated with mild heat (less than 100 degrees Celsius) to eliminate pathogens and extend shelf-life. The process is intended to kill pathogenic bacteria and make food safe to eat.
  9. The amount of fat is the only difference between whole, 2 percent, and skim milk. Half the calories in whole milk come from fat and one-third of the calories in 2 percent milk come from fat. Only 1 percent milk and skim milk are truly low-fat milk.


Also, we’re often asked about the sell-by date. To know if your milk is safe to drink, you can store your milk for approximately five days after the sell-by date. Subtract the current date from the sell-by date, add five, and you have the number of days your milk will be good.

The dairy industry is a “local industry.” In fact, 97% of the milk sold in our Arizona grocery stores comes from Arizona’s family dairies. We have our well-known family local brands such as Danzeisen Dairy and Shamrock Dairy. But that gallon of whole milk I just bought this week also came from a local dairy, it just doesn’t have the farm dairy brand slapped on the side of the package.

These facts help us celebrate dairy, especially in June since it’s National Dairy Month.