How does the Nevada dairy industry impact employment and the job market?
Home to just over 20 dairy farms ranging in size from 500 cows to over 25,000 cows, Nevada, as a state, ranks 32nd in milk production by volume. Nevada dairy farms bring delicious nutrition filled dairy products like milk, ice cream and cheese to your family. The industry is also a significant contributor to the local economy.
Part of Nevada dairy farms’ economic impact is employment. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the Nevada dairy industry directly supports more than 7,500 jobs creating more than $280 million in wages and over $1.2 billion in economic impact. That’s just direct. There are many indirect jobs, wages and impact additionally created throughout the state from the dairy industry.
Now I know what you’re thinking, how are there 7,500 dairy farmers in Nevada? Well, there aren’t. There are a variety of jobs created by the dairy industry and you might be surprised to learn about some of them. Take a moment to think about milk’s journey from the farm to your home. Additional areas that create jobs include transportation, processing facilities and indirect suppliers such as grocery stores.
Jobs At The Farm
The responsibilities of the dairy farmer might include tasks such as feeding and milking cows. Depending on the size of the farm, there may be a dairy herdsman. This job often oversees the daily care and management of dairy cattle. They are chiefly concerned with maintaining the health and longevity of the dairy herd. Both of these roles often work in conjunction with veterinarians, animal nutritionists and livestock feed sales representatives to help with the health, feeding and nutrition needs of the cows.
Other duties on the farm that can require additional workforce range from feeders, milkers and general office work to barn care, land maintenance and more.
Milk on the Move
From the farm, milk gets transported to a processing facility. This includes commercial truck drivers to transport, refrigeration maintenance technicians to keep the trucks in optimal condition and scheduling logistics for pick up and delivery.
Employment at Milk Processing Facilities
Once the milk arrives at the processing facility, there are a variety of other jobs that come into play. Some of these include a dairy plant maintenance mechanic. This role is often responsible for the care and maintenance of the facility to make sure all assets at the facility are in safe, sanitary and efficient condition.
Other roles in the processing facility include occupations such as a processing plant manager and processing technician. These jobs are usually within the processing department, which is responsible for the receipt of the raw milk, pasteurizing it and ensuring it is safe for you and your family to enjoy.
From there, quality control inspections occur and packaging operators package the milk before it heads to your local grocery store or its next destination.
Other Dairy Industry Jobs
In addition to the direct jobs created by the dairy industry, there are many indirect jobs created in supporting industries. Local grocery stores often employ dairy clerks and dairy department managers. Other jobs in fields such as government, council, public health and research benefit from the dairy industry as well.
Looking beyond Nevada, the U.S. dairy industry supports more than 3 million jobs creating $158.5 billion in wages, has an overall economic impact of more than $619 billion and accounts for 3 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).