It is a well-known fact in the Midwest (and a source of amusement to some) that Iowa’s hog population is larger than its human population. But natives of the Hawkeye state take pride in their agricultural status. Despite the emphasis on pork, Iowa is a heavy-duty dairy state, ranking 12th in the nation in milk production (measured in pounds) in 2013.
According to the Food and Drug Administration’s Interstate Milk Shippers List, more than a dozen Grade A dairy processors operate plants in the state. They take advantage of the supply of high-quality milk and hard-working labor force. Three companies on the Dairy 100, our list of North America’s largest dairy processors, have their headquarters in Iowa: dairy co-op and cheesemaker Swiss Valley Farms (in Davenport); ice cream processor Wells Enterprises (LeMars) and Anderson Erickson Dairy (Des Moines). This last ranks No. 82 with revenues of $165 million in 2013, up from $162 million the previous year.