Dairy Foods Blog


Idaho: Famous for Potatoes. Famous for Milk & Cheese

A massive amount of milk is produced in southern Idaho. It's turned into cheese, yogurt and other products.

March 28, 2014

Mention Idaho, and the common reply is “the potato state.” What you won’t hear is “Oh, Idaho, famous for milk and cheese!” But that’s equally true. Especially in southern Idaho, where there are more dairy farms than anywhere else in the state.

A massive amount of milk is produced in southern Idaho. Over 76% of Idaho’s dairies are located here, producing 34 million pounds of milk every day at a value of over $4 billion. That’s 75% of Idaho’s total milk production, putting Idaho in the #4 spot for U.S. milk production and #3 for cheese production. Cheese? Yep, we’re famous for that too. Production reached 875 million pounds of cheese in 2013, making this region #1 for cheese in Idaho and #3 nationally.

So yes, while Idaho is famous for our potatoes, we’re also famous for our milk and cheese as well as other dairy-related products.

Southern Idaho is ideal for dairy farming

Why? Well, cows of course, and location, climate, space and a strong dairy industry sector.

The area is an ideal location for dairy farming. There’s excellent, high-quality grass available for grazing herds, allowing southern Idaho’s dairy farmers the ability to offer a competitively priced, high quality milk supply. Water from the mighty Snake River to irrigate crops and land availability makes this area the best in the state for dairy operations. And a generally cool year-round climate means comfortable cows with high milk production. The quality of the most basic ingredients available here – water and feed – are the building blocks of the region’s dairy industry.

Minimally populated Idaho means plenty of open space for raising dairy cows. That smaller population means only a portion of milk produced here goes directly to consumers. That leaves millions of pounds of liquid milk available to make yogurt, cheese and other dairy-related products.

Chobani manufactures 1 million cases of yogurt weekly in Idaho

And there is plenty of industry here to utilize all that dairy production. Southern Idaho milk supports Chobani’s 12 lines of operation to churn out more than one million cases of yogurt every week.

Glanbia Foods, the world’s largest producer of American-style cheese, processes nearly 12 million pounds of milk every day, generating a staggering 880 million pounds of cheese annually. Numerous other area cheese processors also operate here to produce a large variety of cheeses.

Dairy research, product development and whey processing are growing spin-off industries in the local dairy processing industry. Research focuses on development for whey proteins and milk minerals, while product development takes whey products and applies them in a variety of food products and processes.

Several other companies utilize the large amount of post-cheese processing ingredients to produce whey, milk protein powders, concentrated filtered milk, milk lactose permeate powder and/or cream for use in nutritional supplements, health enhancing beverages, infant and medical use, oral health and animal nutrition products.

Glanbia has a major whey plant in southern Idaho

Glanbia Foods’ nutritional operation has one plant solely dedicated to whey processing, producing 18 million pounds of dairy ingredient annually. They turn high-protein cheese by-product into products for a burgeoning global marketplace in nutritionals.

Humans aren’t the only ones benefitting from Idaho milk. Infant animal milk manufacturer, Calva Products, converts neighboring Brewster Cheese’s by-products into liquid milk replacer for calves.

Logistics systems make southern Idaho a good choice for dairy processors

The dairy industry is king in southern Idaho, not only for the massive level and quality of milk production, but for the numerous other businesses that have links to dairy. Southern Idaho’s dairy industry not only exports milk, cheese and yogurt, but also grows the crops to feed the cows, produces and processes the milk and hires local labor to do it all. Local warehouse, distribution, packaging, and transport companies get dairy products out to local, national and international customers.

Folks here know and appreciate what southern Idaho dairy farmers offer to our communities. Dairy reigns supreme here, and that’s just fine with us. So, the next time someone mentions Idaho and says potatoes, you can say, “Oh, Idaho, famous for milk and cheese!” They’ll be surprised, and you’ll be right.


The Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization secured a record-setting seven projects in 10 months, including new investments from Chobani, Monsanto, Clif Bar and Frulact Group, and expansions of Glanbia Foods, McCain Foods and Calva/Brewster. These projects are expected to generate 5,000 new jobs with a combined investment of over $773 million.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Anderson Erickson Dairy, Des Moines, Iowa

 From this one plant, AE Dairy manufactures a full range of Grade A dairy beverages and foods, including white and flavored milk, ice cream mix (packaged for retail sale and for commercial use), 50 flavors of Greek and conventional low-fat and nonfat yogurt, buttermilk, whipping cream, cottage cheese, juices, sour cream and dips.  

BehindtheScenes

This photo gallery contains additional, unpublished photos of dairy processing facilities featured in Dairy Foods magazine. To view more Behind the Scenes galleries go to our archives page!

1/26/15 8:15 am EST

President's Address --2020 Vision

On Demand They say hindsight is 20/20, but IDFA President and CEO Connie Tipton is turning that old adage on its head. She plans to look forward to the next five years with a focused vision on important changes ahead for the dairy industry. In her address Tipton will challenge industry leaders to be willing to shake things up. She will unveil plans to ramp up IDFA activities during the run up to 2020.

Dairy Foods Magazine

dairy foods january 2015

2015 January

Our annual supplier spotlights issue; A look inside Anderson Erickson Dairy; plus our detection systems Q&A

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Dairy Foods in 2015

Which dairy food do you plan to eat more of in 2015?
View Results Poll Archive

THE DAIRY FOODS STORE

tharp-and-young-on-icecream.gif
Tharp & Young on Ice Cream: An Encyclopedic Guide to Ice Cream Science and Technology

An at once an all-inclusive guide to the meaning of hundreds of technical terms and ideas needed for ice cream manufacturing, as well as a practical introduction to the ingredients, freezing methods, flavoring, and packaging of ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, gelato, frozen yogurts, novelties and many other kinds of frozen desserts.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube logo 40px 2-12-13  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13google plus

Dairy Foods Buyers Guide

cover df july 2013Resource for buyers in the dairy processing industry to find information on the leading suppliers and manufacturers.

Find Ingredients, Equipment, Distribution, R&D and More.

Start Your Search Today.