ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Ever looked at the 5 or 4 digit code at the top of your milk jug and wondered what that code meant?

The code you may find next to the expiration date of a typical jug or carton of milk actually represents the location of the processing plant the milk was made. The first two digits represent the state, with New York being “36” and Pennsylvania being “42.”

The second part of the code may be three digits long, or it could be two digits depending on location. This part of the code represents the city or region where the processing plant is located. For example, the code “42-146” means the milk was made at the processing plant in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. This milk can be found at the Save A Lot supermarket in Elmira, NY.

Knowing where the milk cartons or jugs you buy come from can actually be important. This helps support any local dairy farms that may be struggling to stay in business for future generations.

“Purchasing milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, any of those delicious dairy products is helping to not only keep local dairy farms in business, but it’s also helping the local economy,” said Eileen Jensen, Executive Director of NY Animal Agricultural Coalition. “Dairy farms don’t just rely on themselves. They’re also relying on many other businesses within their local communities in order to continue to sustain their farm for future generations.”

Want to know where the milk you buy comes from? You can find out what the code on your carton or jug means by typing it in whereismymilkfrom.com.