TULARE, Calif. -- A number of states came to World Ag Expo this week to lure dairy farmers away from California, but only one brought a governor.
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard visited for the second year in a row, touting the state’s dairy-processing facilities, lower feed cost, higher milk prices, and no state income tax.
“We’ve got lower feed costs than California, higher milk prices – on average, about $3 a hundredweight, sometimes as much as $4 a hundredweight better,” he told Dairy Herd Management. “And, of course, the tax environment is very good. We have no personal income tax, no corporate income tax.”
“The dairy-processing facilities that we have in South Dakota are expanding or being joined by new dairy-processing facilities,” he said.
For example, Bell Brands USA is constructing a new cheese plant near Brookings, S.D., that is expected to be up to full production sometime in 2014. The $100 million facility will employ 365 to 400 people.
Last year’s trip to World Ag Expo helped Gov. Daugaard make the acquaintance of a prominent California dairyman who will be opening a 3,500-head dairy near Brookings, S.D., this spring.
This year, he will visit other California dairymen who may be interested in moving to South Dakota.
Among the other states or regions represented at this year’s World Ag Expo: Kansas, Iowa, North Dakota, Nevada, Illinois and Dalhart, Texas.