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In 2004, New Jersey’s Dairy industry produced a total of 187 million lbs. of milk valued at $30.8 million and an additional 44 million in estimated live animal sales. Milk production in 1991 totaled 349 million lbs. valued at $54 million. New Jersey’s estimated 11,000 milk cows are primarily located in the counties of Salem, Sussex, Warren, Burlington and Gloucester. Those five counties produce 87 percent of New Jersey’s milk. New Jersey’s Dairy industry provides a fresh and healthy source of dairy products to all New Jersey residents young and old.

Over the past decade, New Jersey witnessed the closure of more than half its dairy farms. Today, the number of commercial dairy farms statewide totals approximately 113. Farmers’ decisions to abandon dairy farming are largely attributable to the high cost of doing business, coupled with volatile pricing in the federal milk marketing system, which results in low profits. Though the number of farms has rapidly decreased, milk production has declined at a slower rate due to herd expansion and improved dairy herd production and management.

In 2005 the Department, Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension, and New Jersey Farm Bureau created the Garden State Dairy Alliance in an effort to help sustain a viable and thriving dairy industry. This multi-disciplinary team along with other state and federal programs will cooperatively address issues related to animal health, milk quality, nutrient management, bio-security, economic stability, marketing, dairy industry development, as well as impacts of legislation and regulation affecting the industry.

In 2006 the Department, through the efforts of the Garden State Dairy Alliance, will provide technical assistance to further advance programs in support of farm profitability, infrastructure redevelopment, animal health, bio-security and food safety. Working with the Garden State Dairy Alliance the Department will also be supporting the development of value-added products through the Jersey Fresh Quality Grading Program and promoting the nutritional benefits of milk and milk products through programs such as “Healthy Choices; Healthy Kids.” The same team will also be working on education programs for the general public and elected officials. A common, clear, and consistent goal and focus will be developed for the dairy industry.


4.1 Evaluate Legislation and Regulation
41) STRATEGY – Continue tracking possible federal legislation that encompasses the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program to ensure more stable short-term on-farm milk prices. Work with the State’s Ratification Committee to continue moving that process forward while considering other new options. Explore any additional federal legislation that might affect the milk industry.

42) STRATEGY – Monitor options related to creating unified New Jersey Dairy Council to meet the needs of both North and South Jersey producers and allow for greater local control over advertising budgets.

4.2 Increase Demand for Milk
43) STRATEGY- Develop a campaign to promote Jersey Fresh dairy product sales at community and retail markets throughout the State.

44) STRATEGY – Explore value-added products and the market potential for flavored milk, yogurt and other dairy products. Evaluate the concept of marketing low-fat flavored milk in New Jersey’s schools. Pursue a value-added grant for this project.

45) STRATEGY – Continue to work with the Garden State Dairy Alliance to support the dairy industry with technical assistance to coordinate a multi-disciplinary team of State and Federal partners to cooperatively address issues related to animal health, milk quality, nutrient management, bio-security and dairy industry development. The alliance will work to help sustain a viable and thriving dairy industry in New Jersey. Continue to work with Pennsylvania and other states to develop relationships beneficial to New Jersey’s dairy industry.

46) STRATEGY – Continue to support the distribution of milk as “Jersey Fresh,” “Made with Premium Jersey Fresh Milk,” “Made with Jersey Fresh Milk”, “Jersey Fresh Flavored Milk” and “Jersey Fresh Milk.”

47) STRATEGY – In conjunction with the Healthy Choices, Healthy Kids initiative, continue to promote the nutritional benefits of drinking milk at a young age. The Department and producers will work with the North Dairy Council to promote the initiative.

48) STRATEGY - Work with producer groups to market fluid milk products to co-packers and establish a processing facility to produce high-end soft cheeses and other products.

4.3 Ensure Quality Production and Food Safety

49) STRATEGY - Continue working to protect the health of the dairy industry from the threat of devastating and economically damaging diseases. Seek to secure funding for Garden State Dairy Alliance Milk Quality Program to document the quality of raw and processed milk and milk products to assure the safety and wholesomeness of dairy products. Continue working with Rutgers and NJ Farm Bureau to promote the FIN Pak Program, a software program for dairy farmers that promotes good business practices through financial management analyses.