Dairy farmers in the United States provide milk, cheese, and yogurt from approximately 51,0000 farms, 97% of which are family-owned. The average herd size in the U.S. consists of 115 dairy cows and each cow can produce 6-7 gallons of milk per day. Dairy cows are strictly female cows raised by a farmer for milk production.

Did You Know?
  • In the past, a person could take up to 1 hour to milk 6 cows by hand. Today, a person can milk 100 or more cows per hour using modern machines and technology.
  • Before modern milk deliver, when people traveled and wanted milk, they had to take their cows with them.
  • Vanilla is America's favorite ice cream flavor.
  • Dairy farmers are paid by the 100 pound weight of their milk, not by the gallon.
  • The U.S. dairy industry conducts more than 3.5 million tests each year to certify the milk we drink is safe and wholesome.
Hands-on Activities
How much does a gallon weigh?

Have attendees write down their guess for how much a gallon of milk weighs. Weigh gallon jugs using a scale. It takes 3 gallons of milk to produce 1 gallon of ice cream. That means 1 cow can produce on average 2-3 gallons of ice cream per day! It take about 10 pounds (1.25 gallons) of milk to make one pound of cheese. It takes 2 to 3 gallons of milk to make one pound of butter depending on the fat content.

Milk the Cow!

You will need latex gloves, water to put in the latex gloves, a pin to slightly pierce fingers of the latex gloves. Fill latex glove with water. Put a small hole in the bottom of two of the fingers. Have volunteers hold the latex glove at eye level for the children. If there are multiple attendees, you could have two attendees "milking the cow" at once. Encourage attendees to race to empty their glove.

*Reference Utah State University's Ag in the Classroom