Market-growth Opportunities for Wisconsin’s Dairy Industry
As a recent attendee of the Dairy Symposium in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin on July 10th, I had the honor of listening to the keynote address by Tom Vilsack, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and now president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Vilsack’s keynote resonated with me, aligning with my career in supporting Wisconsin’s agribusiness and refreshing my excitement for the market-growth opportunities in front of Wisconsin’s dairy industry.
Currently about 15 percent of U.S. dairy products are exported. More than 1-out-of-7 tanker trucks of milk is made into dairy products destined for international markets. And in the last two decades, the U.S. dairy industry has grown from a minor player in the export world to a global supplier. Wisconsin alone consistently ranks in the top five US states for dairy product exports. According to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Wisconsin exported $247 million worth of dairy products in 2016, quite an accomplishment considering Wisconsin’s limited access to ocean ports.
As the world population grows and middle-class consumption rises so will demand for Wisconsin’s products. For agricultural companies, now is the time to start developing the right mix of product, people and placement to reach global markets.