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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


California produces the most milk in the U.S., according to 2021 data from the Department of Agriculture.

California produced 41 million pounds of milk in 2021, accounting for 18.5% of the nation’s total milk production. 

Wisconsin ranked the second highest in milk production, producing 31 million pounds of milk in 2021, representing about 14% of the country’s total production. 

The next top three producers of milk are Idaho, Texas and New York. Together, the five states account for more than 50% of the country’s annual milk supply.

Wisconsin may not be America’s Dairyland when it comes to milk production, but it is #1 in one milk-related category: cheese. Wisconsin produces 25% of the nation’s cheese, more than any other state.  

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


DocumentCloud: Milk production by State, USDA

US Department of Agriculture: Dairy Fact Sheet

US Department of Agriculture: United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service

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Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.