PA Dairy Overview

Pennsylvania is ranked 7th in total milk production nationally, with the commonwealth’s 500,000 cows producing more than 10.2 billion pounds of milk annually. The state’s annual milk production per cow is just over 20,000 pounds – or about 2,454 gallons – per cow. The state has the second largest number of dairy farms nationally, having more dairy farms than every other state except Wisconsin.

Trends in Pennsylvania’s dairy industry:

  • The number of Pennsylvania dairy farms is declining. In 2016, Pennsylvania lost 120 dairy farms. Currently, 5,730 dairy farms are located in Pennsylvania, representing 15.9 percent of all dairy farms across the nation. Pennsylvania’s average herd size is around 80 cows, with 99 percent of all dairy farms in Pennsylvania family owned.
  • The state’s total milk production is increasing. During the past three years, Pennsylvania’s milk production has been steadily increasing, despite a decline in the total number of cows in the commonwealth. In 2020, the state’s total milk production was 10.2 billion lbs.
  • The region’s market for milk is growing. Companies like Chobani’s and Coca-Cola are bringing more processing demand for raw milk to the Northeast dairy industry. However, milk processing infrastructure within Pennsylvania are aging. Finding incentives for companies to invest here in Pennsylvania will be essential throughout the next five years.

Creating a more favorable environment for Pennsylvania’s dairy farms will be critical to the industry’s ability to grow and meet increasing dairy demand, both domestically and across the seas. Learn more about the economic benefits of dairy.

To learn more about how to better support Pennsylvania’s dairy farms, contact the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or email