The Company will invest approximately $100 million in its new plant on a 48-acre land parcel in Brookings. Phase 1 of the project will have a production capacity of approximately 22 million pounds or 10,000 metric tons. The second phase, contingent on anticipated increased market demands, is envisioned to be built in 2016-2017, bringing 200 additional jobs to the area.
Why is the dairy industry expanding in South Dakota?
"All this is excellent from a strictly dairy business perspective. However, other parts of the country offer similar economic environmental conditions and even milder weather," said Garcia. "What is it about South Dakota that has made the difference? Quality of life is oftentimes mentioned as a decision to move or relocate. Could this be making a difference for South Dakota?"
Maybe it's South Dakota's high well-being score? Garcia explains that according to the most recent 2013 Gallup-Healthways poll, which surveyed 176,000 people from all 50 states in the U.S., South Dakota ranked in the top two for well-being (along with North Dakota).
"South Dakota respondents were among the most likely in the U.S. to report good emotional health. Ninety percent reported enjoying a large portion of their day, and more than 93 percent felt happy during the previous 24 hours, more than any other state," Garcia said.
The state's unemployment rate in December at 3.6 percent tied for the second lowest in the U.S. Not only did much of the workforce in South Dakota have a job, but also were more likely to enjoy their work environment.
"The success of South Dakota as a dairy state is not just that its climate and economic conditions are conducive to profitable and sustainable agricultural practices. It is foremost a combination of those with a living environment where well-being and quality of life is currently rated among the two highest in the nation," Garcia said.