COLUMBIA, Mo.– Missouri’s dairy product manufacturing and production industry revenues translated into annual statewide economic output worth $7.7 billion, contributing more than $2 billion to the state’s gross domestic product, and directly and indirectly supporting more than 23,000 jobs, according to a study by the University of Missouri Extension Commercial Agriculture (CA) Program.

“Missouri’s history as a major milk-producing state endowed us with a diverse dairy product manufacturing sector that remains a major employer,” write CA Program economists Joe Horner and Ryan Milhollin, who prepared the study for the Missouri Dairy Products Association, which released the study March 12.

Missouri’s dairy product manufacturing industries directly employed 5,515 workers receiving average wages of $46,850 per worker to create a total statewide payroll of $258 million. Considering all the direct, indirect and induced jobs stimulated by Missouri’s dairy product manufacturing industries, a total of 23,297 jobs were supported. These jobs provided $1.2 billion in labor income to Missourians.

Missouri's dairy manufacturing plants produced an estimated $4.4 billion worth of dairy products in 2011, the most recent year for which data was available.

Missouri’s gross domestic product (GDP) was $2.0 billion larger due to the value added by Missouri’s dairy product manufacturing industries. The Missouri dairy manufacturing industry stimulated $138 million in state and local taxes to Missouri and $239 million in federal taxes in 2011.

According to the study’s co-author Joe Horner, “Missouri agriculture produces lots of commodities. What is different about Missouri’s dairy industry is that our state’s dairy processing industry transforms every drop we produce into higher-valued products. In addition, much of Missouri’s dairy processing is owned by local dairy farmers through their cooperatives, allowing the farmers to capture the value they create.”

The report is also available on our website at

For further information on the study, contact Joe Horner at 573-882-9339 or