The objectives of this study are to describe dairy farm demographic and socioeconomic conditions in the top 100 counties in the United States for dairy sales in 2007, and to describe the association of dairy farm demographics with socioeconomic conditions. The top 100 counties were responsible for 56% of all US dairy sales in 2007 with a median growth rate of 78% compared with 1997. Counties varied widely for farm demographics with as few as 5 very large dairy farms that averaged $17,924,000 in dairy sales per farm to as many as 1,730 dairy farms with less than $250,000 in dairy sales per farm. Most of the top 100 dairy counties had higher illiteracy rates, a higher proportion of residents without a high school degree, and lower median incomes than state averages, but unemployment rates were similar to the state average. The socioeconomic measures were from public records and not collected specifically for this research. Nevertheless, the top dairy counties in the western states tended to have poorer socioeconomic conditions than the top dairy counties in other regions, and significant associations were observed between dairy farm demographics and socioeconomic conditions. Having many dairy farms was associated more favorably with county socioeconomic conditions than having high dairy sales.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology