April 06, 2012
Last week it was unusual—and very enjoyable—to attend an ag conference and trade show right here in good old Sioux Falls, S.D. After attending so many ag shows across the country during the first quarter of the year, it was nice to play on our home field for a change.
The Central Plains Dairy Expo is one that has grown rapidly over the past five years. In its infancy, it was certainly a smaller regional dairy show as compared to the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., or the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif.. However, during the past two or three years, it has really expanded both in the number of attendees and the number of exhibitors.
Here in South Dakota, we’ve seen some very nice growth in our dairy industry along the I-29 corridor. A number of dairies have relocated to eastern South Dakota from the U.K. and the Netherlands, in addition to dairies that have expanded from other states.
And now, with the recent announcement that Bel Brands USA has selected Brookings, S.D. as the site for its third U.S. cheese manufacturing plant, there is renewed interest and urgency in expanding our dairy numbers here in South Dakota.
Bel Brands, a subsidiary of Paris-based Fromageries Bel, will begin construction of a 170,000 square foot cheese production plant that will cost $36 million to build and another $126 million to equip. It’s estimated that the new plant will create between 365 and 400 new jobs for the Brookings area when fully operational by 2015.
Equally important, this new 24/7 production plant will require milk from 12,000 to 14,000 dairy cows each day, and that means even greater emphasis on growing our dairy numbers in the three-state area. This is economic development at its best, and we’re so proud that South Dakota was chosen for this very significant expansion.
It was great to see several Paulsen clients exhibiting at the show last week including Soy Best, Ecolab, Crystalyx Supplements, Hubbard Feeds and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. The clients we visited with were very pleased with the attendance and programs offered at last week’s Central Plains Dairy Expo.
Congratulations to the Central Plains Dairy Association for their efforts to grow our dairy industry here in South Dakota and in our neighboring states!