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S.D. Gov. Daugaard Steps Up Dairy Recruitment

S.D. Gov. Daugaard Steps Up Dairy Recruitment
He makes a splash with a trip to the heart of California's dairy country.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard is making a splash with his drive to increase the number of dairy cows in the state.

He recently spent two days in California, in conjunction with World Ag Expo in Tulare, recruiting dairies to move or expand in South Dakota.

Gov. Daugaard likely had more of an impact on the California dairy industry than did California Gov. Jerry Brown, who spent 20 minutes at the show, the Visalia Times-Delta recently reported.

Gov. Daugaard told the Times that his message was simple: South Dakota cheese plants offer higher prices for milk than California plants and land is cheaper and feed is more abundant in South Dakota than California.

Cows are the prize for South Dakota. The governor made another trip to California to recruit dairies.

Some California dairy farmers told the Times that their biggest concern about South Dakota was the weather. "They've got 12 months of it," one said.

"I want to see the number dairy cows in South Dakota double," said Gov. Daugaard earlier this year at the South Dakota Corn Growers Association's growers association's annual meeting.

In 2013, permitted capacity at existing dairies in the state grew by 8,000 head. An additional 15,000 head was permitted for new dairies. However, not all the new facilities have been built yet.

There about 94,000 milk cows in South Dakota.

The state's hash tag for the year is #getmoremilk2014, Gov. Daugaard told the Times.

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