Wednesday provided another tremendous turnout at the World Ag Expo in Tulare.
One of the most notable guests was South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard.
Daugaard is trying to entice California’s dairymen to either move or expand into his state. Daugaard and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture setup an information booth inside the Dairy Center at the expo.
Many curious people stopped by to hear the sales pitch of why they should set up a dairy 1,600 miles away from California.
“Agriculture is our number one I industry in South Dakota and we’re a very Ag friendly state,” said Dennis Daugaard, Governor South Dakota.
Governor Dennis Daugaard says South Dakota has all the ingredients a California dairyman would want.
“We have no personal income tax, no corporate income tax. The land costs are lower, the feed costs are lower and the milk prices you get for your product are higher. It just makes economic sense,” said Gov. Daugaard.
Tulare County has around a half-million cows. It’s the nation’s number one milk producing region generating more than 2 billion dollars a year.
South Dakota has 90,000 cows, but needs to double the size of its herd because a new Bel Brands USA cheese factory is going on line. Thus increasing demand for milk.
Cal Dejager, who owns a dairy in Bakersfield, found that to be intriguing.
“It’s not like we’re going to shut down our operation here, by no means, but that opportunity looks good for the future. So we’ll see,” said Cal Dejager, dairy owner.
Brian Schouten is part of a family run dairy just outside of Palm Springs, an area starting to get overpopulated.
The 25-year old says with a wife and two kids, it’s time to start thinking about the future.
“So the next generation is looking at possibly moving out and starting somewhere on our own. It would be nice to slow down and live in the country again,” said Brian Schouten.
The next step for Governor Daugaard and his team to somewhat act as real estate agents for the people who have shown interest. They’ll arrange tours for them and suggest the best locations to setup their dairies.