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  • Pauline Hoffmann

June is National Dairy Month

I'll have cheese with that.


This podcast is full of cheese. There is one pun after another related to dairy. Listen so that you may groan.


Data Doyenne is a huge fan of celebrating all things dairy. Dairy is an integral part of her diet. Part of the reason for that is cheese goes so nicely with wine.


I reference data from the National Dairy Alliance with a caveat.....it is from the National DAIRY Alliance about DAIRY. As we discussed in the very first Data Doyenne podcast, you should be suspect about data that purports to "teach" you about information directly related to its cause. This is a perfect example. Something else to consider is the joint report they reference from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. You may review the full report yourself. There is much good information. It should also come as no surprise that the National Dairy Alliance cherry-picks the data from the report that it displays on its website.


I was curious about worldwide dairy production. I am aware of diary production in this country. My grandfather had a small dairy farm. My husband's family are dairy farmers. We live on an old dairy farm. I guess it's a good thing I'm not vegan.


The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment has a wonderful website with worldwide dairy data. Additionally, take a look at the Article Library for additional worldwide dairy data. As mentioned on the podcast:

  • Africa: The number of dairy cows in Africa is five times that of the US (49 vs 9 million). The highest milk producing countries in Africa are Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, and Sudan. Of these countries, Ethiopia has the most cows whereas South Africa has the greatest milk production per cow.

  • United States: The largest milk, butter and cheese producers are Wisconsin, Minnesota and parts of the Dakotas. Along the Atlantic seaboard dairying is widely practiced in the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and some of the New England states.

  • Canada: The Ontario Peninsula and the Maritime provinces now produce the bulk amount of milk and milk products.

  • Europe: France, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, UK, Switzerland are the top producers. In France: there is not a large demand for milk, wine being preferred, and most of the production goes to make butter, especially in Normandy, and as many as 300 different types of cheese, some of which are world famous. Germany is a leading producer of milk and butter. Denmark has one of the highest yields of milk per cow and is a huge producer of butter.

  • Russia is a large dairy producer though not as much as it once was.

  • New Zealand and Australia produce dairy.

  • South America: Diary production exists particularly in Argentina and Uruguay.

  • India where cows are sacred produces much milk but it is used locally. The yield is low.

Statista also has some relevant data that's worth a look:

In talking about dairy and dairy production, we cannot omit the environmental concerns associated with it. The Yale School of the Environment Yale Environment 360 details some of the concerns including greenhouse gas emissions as well as pathogens. The link I reference in this paragraph will take you to a wonderful article on the subject but the entire Yale Environment 360 website is worth a look. As with other sites, I was getting lost in the information that may be found here.


This week's ARS (Arbitrary Random Stat) deals with dairy - Mrs. O'Leary's cow, Daisy, and the Chicago fire of 1871. We may never know if poor Daisy started the fire that would destroy thousands of buildings, kill an estimated 300 people, cause an estimated $200 million in damages, and leave 100,000 others homeless. Oopsy Daisy.




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