NM4EP Highlights Top NM Agricultural Commodity for National Dairy Month



June 4, 2019

New Mexicans for Economic Prosperity (NM4EP), a statewide economic advocacy coalition, will be celebrating New Mexico’s position as a national leader in dairy production during the month of June, which is National Dairy Month. New Mexico is the 5th largest producer of cheese and 9th largest producer of milk in the nation.

Dairy is New Mexico’s top agricultural commodity in terms of value produced ($1.33 billion in 2017). The dairy industry is directly responsible for more than 5,800 jobs, $215 million in wages, $5.3 billion in economic impact, and $162 million in state tax revenue.

Alongside member organizations, the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau and the Dairy Producers of New Mexico, NM4EP will highlight the dairy industry’s contributions to New Mexico’s economy and communities on social media with infographics, articles, and an industry fact sheet.

“Dairy is not typically associated with New Mexico agriculture in the same way as beef or chile, but we’re a national leader and it’s our top agricultural commodity,” Beverly Idsinga, executive director of Dairy Producers of New Mexico, said. “And because almost all of the dairy produced in New Mexico is exported outside the state, the industry brings in outside dollars that increase local incomes and jobs in our communities.”

“New Mexico farmers and ranchers help feed the nation and our world, while also helping to grow our economy and improve the environment. Dairy producers are no exception.” Chad Smith, CEO of the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, said. “New Mexicans can be proud of this great industry that is helping to lead the country in production and innovation.”

“We’re a national leader in dairy production, yet many New Mexicans don’t know about the industry’s vital contributions to our economy, particularly in rural communities,” Kyler Nerison, NM4EP executive director, said. “National Dairy Month provides an opportunity to change that and help educate folks about the importance of the industry to New Mexico, including more than 5,800 direct jobs and $5.3 billion in economic impact.”

National Dairy Month began in 1937 as National Milk Month to promote drinking milk. It is now an annual event across the country to recognize the many contributions of the dairy industry.

The total value of New Mexico’s agricultural production grew 5.3% in 2017 to a total value of $3.38 billion. Both crop and livestock production increased that year.

By the Numbers:

  • There are approximately 332,000 milk cows spread across New Mexico’s 148 dairies, all of which are family owned
  • New Mexico produces more than 8 billion pounds of milk and 750 million pounds of cheese annually
  • This makes our state the 5th largest producer of cheese and 9th largest producer of milk in the nation
  • Dairy is New Mexico’s top agricultural commodity, with $1.33 billion in cash receipts during 2017
  • The dairy industry is directly responsible for more than 5,800 jobs, $215 million in wages, $5.3 billion in economic impact, and $162 million in state tax revenue