Facilitate, grow and promote the Iowa dairy industry.

Iowa State Dairy Association is dedicated to building a strong communication link between producers, processors, consumers, legislators and environmental organizations, representing you at all dairy supply chain levels, from dairy farm to consumer tables. ISDA serves as a cohesive voice on legislative issues and reports the latest industry-relevant information to our members. To succeed it takes a commitment by those who are truly passionate about Iowa's dairy industry and our future.


ISDA is managed by a board of directors comprised of dairy producers, dairy processors and other dairy industry representatives. ISDA serves all members and works to make our voice heard on issues that matter to Iowa's dairy industry.


The Iowa State Dairy Association (ISDA) was chartered by the Iowa legislature in 1876. At this time the leading concerns of the association were breeding profitable cows, inducing farmers to use a silage program, improving the quality of butter and Bovine tuberculosis. These issues would continue to stay in the forefront for many years to come. The ISDA also played a major role in the fight to open a dairy school in Ames.

By the 1980′s the organization’s efforts had been idle in the industry. In 2001 the ISDA board began a restructuring effort to build the ISDA back into a successful and significant organization within the industry.

With the restructuring, a new vision for the association was developed. In 2003 the association hired a staff member to re-organize and build the ISDA into an active voice representing the Iowa dairy producer. In 2006 another staff member was hired to assist with the existing position.

Iowa Dairy Industry

This report details a current analysis of Iowa’s dairy industry, as well as national trends. Dairy cows and the economic activity they generate are detailed throughout.

In 2018, Americans consumed 646 lbs. per capita of milk and dairy products, 670 pounds in Iowa, representing more than 211 billion pounds of raw milk.

Iowa nationally ranks 12th in total milk production and 8th in milk production per cow. Iowa’s milk production represents 2.45 percent of the total U.S. milk production.

The state has a wealth of natural water resources and is the major feed producer of forages, corn, soy and distillers grains from the fuel ethanol industry.

Dairy Checkoff vs. State Trade Associations

Checkoff Comparison-ISDA

Dairy Checkoff

  • The dairy checkoff was created by farmers for farmers, and Midwest Dairy is still 100% funded by dairy farmers today.
  • Dairy farmers are required to contribute 15 cents per hundredweight of milk sold to the dairy checkoff. Of this, 10 cents are used by the local dairy checkoff, Midwest Dairy, and 5 cents are used by the national dairy checkoff, Dairy Management Incorporated.
  • Midwest Dairy covers 9 ½ states throughout the Midwest and is responsible for handling local dairy checkoff within this region.
  • Midwest Dairy is governed by 127 board members at eight local, or quasi-governmental organizations. Ultimately, a 34-membered Corporate Board consisting of dairy farmers is selected to guide Midwest Dairy.
  • Can only be used for:
    • Consumer education
    • Promotion of dairy for human consumption
    • Nutrition, product, food safety and consumer research
  • Cannot conduct research to increase on-farm or processing productivity.
  • Cannot influence government and legislature.
  • USDA provides oversight of the dairy checkoff.
  • For more information about Midwest Dairy checkoff, visit www.midwestdairy.com.

Iowa State Dairy Association

  • An individual’s involvement within the Iowa State Dairy Association is voluntary. Individuals, or organizations, can choose to become either a Corporate, Producer or Associate Member.
  • Iowa State Dairy Association’s board of directors consists of dairy farmers and dairy industry professionals. These individuals represent various dairy cooperatives and organizations across the state of Iowa.
  • Iowa State Dairy Association is the unified voice and advocate working to ensure a prosperous dairy industry within Iowa for generations to come.
  • Iowa State Dairy Association’s goals are:
    • Maintain and grow dairy farmer membership within ISDA to keep dairy farmers informed.
    • Develop partnerships through cooperative efforts, engaging members and developing policy to move the dairy industry forward.
    • Ensure frequent and concise communication of dairy farmers’ issues through legislative agenda to encourage economic growth.
  • USDA does not provide oversight of the Iowa State Dairy Association.

Iowa State Dairy Association and Midwest Dairy are two organizations with two separate boards. However, staff is contracted and shared between the Iowa State Dairy Association and Midwest Dairy.