South Dakota has gone from a milk deficit to a milk surplus. As a result, state officials and dairy industry representatives were at the World Dairy Expo trying to recruit new processors to the state.
David Skaggs works with dairy development for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. He says they’re looking hard at plants that process some of the new dairy products on the market, like protein drinks.
He says currently milk is being exported out of state. Plus, permits have been approved for new dairy operations that are on hold because they have nowhere to sell their milk. However, he says attracting a new processor is tough due to the huge investment.
Skaggs says there are some existing plants that are expanding like Valley Queen Cheese in Milbank. However, even then more capacity will be needed.
Skaggs says several communities have expressed interest in having a dairy plant in their area because they usually bring 75 to 100 good paying jobs to the area.