Saturday, November 17, 2012

South Dakota looks to lure away dairy farmers

Lure away from parts all over the world.  Including CA:
Two South Dakota dairy processors put up billboards in Tulare County, Calif., which has about 340,000 dairy cows, saying "All our cows in South Dakota are happy."

The billboards followed an earlier ad campaign that touted South Dakota as a better place for dairy business because, unlike California, it doesn't have quotas that limit milk production.

"We think South Dakota is a good place to milk cows," said state Agriculture Secretary Walter Bones. "Our state is one of those areas with tremendous untapped potential."

Earlier this year, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Dauggard went to California on a recruiting mission, telling reporters "we're on a cattle roundup. So if you're out there in the world of dairying and you're looking for a place to plant your dairy, South Dakota is open for business."

...

Some California farmers have shown interest in relocating to South Dakota and elsewhere in the Upper Midwest as the cost of cattle feed has soared in Western states and it has become more expensive to do business because of taxes, regulations and rising land prices.

"We think once they start coming, more will follow," said Jon Davis, CEO of Davisco Food International, which has a cheese factory in South Dakota and backs the billboard campaign.

South Dakota sells dairy products worldwide. Earlier this year, Bel Brands USA said it was building a $100 million cheese plant near Brookings, in the eastern part of the state, that will employ 400 people.

"People have invested a lot of money in the processing industry here. The only piece of the puzzle that's missing is the farms," Davis said.

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