Most Americans know that milk and other dairy products are an essential part of a healthy diet. But less well-known is dairy's contribution to the health of the U.S. economy and the economies of every state across the country. A new storytelling campaign launched today by the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) aims to shine a brighter, data-driven spotlight on the positive effects of dairy's economic engine.
The organizations said they are collaborating on a new campaign called "Got Jobs? Dairy Creates Jobs, Exports Create More.” Over the next year, they will share in-depth data and compelling narratives featuring hardworking dairy farmers, innovative dairy company employees, resourceful retailers and many others throughout the food supply chain at GotDairyJobs.org.
The U.S. dairy products industry supports nearly 3 million workers, generates more than $39 billion in direct wages and has an overall economic impact of more than $628 billion, according to IDFA's economic impact tool, “Dairy Delivers.” The tool also examines dairy's economic ripple effect on other sectors of the national economy, showing dairy is responsible for $24.9 billion in state and local business tax revenues and another $39.5 billion in federal business tax revenues.
"With the Trump administration's current focus on global trade, it's important for consumers and policymakers to understand how dairy drives the American economy," said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based IDFA. "The United States needs sound trade policy that will place the U.S. dairy industry on a level playing field with global competitors. Backed by fair and proactive trade policies, the U.S. dairy industry will continue to keep and create jobs in states across the country."
The new campaign provides a clearinghouse of information at GotDairyJobs.org. The site will offer monthly features, videos and plenty of hard facts that demonstrate dairy's continued impact on jobs, tax revenue and communities around the country, the organizations said. Using #GotDairyJobs, the dairy industry will be able to amplify the campaign and create the dairy jobs conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
"Dairy has a positive story to tell, affecting a wide swath of America, creating jobs and tax revenue in rural, suburban and urban communities," said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based USDEC. "I'm delighted we now have a go-to place where people can find state-by-state data and compelling human stories that reinforce the same message: 'Dairy creates jobs and exports create more.'"
Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-headquartered NMPF, noted that milk becomes “a job-creation machine” as it makes its way from farm to table, with farm workers, truck drivers, construction workers, factory workers, retailers and others positively impacted by quickly growing countries unable to produce enough milk to meet their needs.
"The United States is uniquely positioned to meet this growing global need, which allows U.S. dairy to provide opportunities for job creation and growth in the United States," he said.