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Real California Milk Facts *

  • California has been the nation’s leading dairy state since 1993, when it surpassed Wisconsin in milk production. California is ranked first in the U.S. in the production of total milk, butter, ice cream, nonfat dry milk, and whey protein concentrate. California is second in cheese production. (CDFA)
  • California accounts for more than 20% of the United States’ milk production. In 2013, California produced 41.2 billion pounds of milk – more than one-fifth of the nation’s total production. (CDFA)
  • Dairy farming is a leading agricultural commodity in California, producing $7.6 billion in annual retail sales in 2013. (CDFA)
  • Approximately forty-four percent of all of California milk goes to make California cheese. (CDFA)
  • Currently there are more than 1,500 California dairy families, whose farms house 1.77 million milk cows. Approximately one out of every five dairy cows in the U.S. lives in California. (CDFA)
  • The average California dairy cow produced 23,178 pounds of milk in 2013. (CDFA)
  • According to the most recent data, around 40 percent of the total U.S. exports of dairy products are coming from California in 2012. (CMAB) [i]
  • California’s milk standards exceed federal standards because California processors add nonfat milk solids which offer improved taste and nutritional benefits. California milk exceeds the federal guidelines for the amounts of calcium and protein in each serving.
  • Real California Milk can be found at retailers such as 7-Eleven, Chevron Food Mart, Sam's Club, Target, Walgreens, Walmart, Whole Foods, Costco, CVS, Rite Aid, Sprouts, O'Brien's, Smart & Final, Trader Joes, Safeway, Raley's, SaveMart and Food Maxx. For a comprehensive list of retailers, visit
  • In 2013, Tulare County was the highest milk producer in California, with more than 27% of the state’s milk production.
  • In 2013, Stanislaus County was ranked #2 in Grade B milk production in California, with an increase of more than 866% in the past year.


[i] Most current available information