A major campaign is being planned to restore North Dakota’s dairy industry.
Meeting in Mandan, the North Dakota Dairy Coalition, together with representatives of crop commodity groups and the dairy industry, discussed how more farmers can be attracted to dairy production.
“Rebuilding of our dairy industry will give crop and forage producers more local marketing avenues, as well as an opportunity to explore the possibilities of dairy farming themselves,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said.
The number of dairy farms in North Dakota has fallen to fewer than 100.
“The new bond between the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the dairy coalition shows tremendous promise,” said Harvey Hoff, Richardton, coalition chairman. “The people in the department’s livestock division are actively working to grow our industry.”
Hoff said the meeting demonstrated the importance of bringing additional resources into the effort to regrow the dairy farming in the state.
“It was good to have other organizations involved, sharing important information and working together to determine what can and should be done,” he said..
“I think we all came away, understanding that we can turn the situation around and rebuild a vibrant dairy industry.”
Goehring pointed out that North Dakota has three dairy processing plants, largely dependent on locally-produced milk.
“We’re talking jobs,” he said. “We are also talking about ensuring that North Dakota is not dependent on outside sources for its milk supply.”