About the dairy industry
Dairy farming has been a part of Massachusetts agriculture ever since settlers brought cows to Plymouth in 1624. Then, dairy products were primarily made for home use. The movement of people from farms to the cities in the 1700s made it necessary to improve the quality of milk and make it available to everyone.
Dairy farming is essential to the vitality Massachusetts agriculture and is part of our cultural tradition. Dairy farming maintains 113,600 acres of open space and land preservation in the state. This land provides a beautiful landscape available for recreation, wildlife habitats and scenery. Dairy farming circulates approximately $40 million to local economies. Dairy farmers and their cows work hard every day to produce approximately 246 million pounds of fresh, nutritious milk. The dairy industry has evolved over time with changes in technology, transportation, and public policy. Many Massachusetts dairy farms use “green” farming practices and work towards energy efficiency.
Where to find dairy products
Milk from dairy farms in the Commonwealth is used to make many products. You can find locally produced dairy products all over the state, including:
- Farmstead cheese
- Ice cream
- Raw Milk Farms - *Raw milk is not pasteurized. Pasteurization destroys organisms that may be harmful to human health. Also, raw milk may not be screened for the presence of antibiotics.