The two primary industry sectors in the Northwest Iowa region are Manufacturing and Agriculture. These sectors account for 27.4% of the total employment in the Region compared to 16.2% for these sectors in the State of Iowa and 9.1% for the U.S.
Nearly 1,700 workers in Northwest Iowa are employed in the Dairy Products Industry. As a percentage of total employment, the Dairy Products Industry represents a significantly greater percentage of the employment in our Region than is represented in the state of Iowa and in the nation.
Dairy product production in this region includes fluid, dry, condensed and evaporated milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, ice milk and sherbert. The leading dairy products companies in Northwest Iowa are:
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2007 Census, there are 204 farms in the six counties that have a total of 45,670 milk cows. Dairy farm owners in the Region have expressed to Northwest Iowa Development their interest and capability to expand their operations to meet the needs of companies in the Region as well as with companies that would locate a new dairy products operation in the Region. Over 20% of the nation's milk cows are located within a day's drive from Northwest Iowa.