Texas milk boom elevates state dairy profile
By Darren Turley
TAD Executive Director
Texas milk production continues to grow month over month and year over year. The large quantity of milk Texas dairies produce – about 12 billion pounds annually and climbing – along with the long streak of milk production increases have people wondering what will slow down the milk flow.
Texas has been elevated to the fifth largest dairy producing state in the nation. We’re thankful for the strong state dairy industry, compared to other states where dairies are going out of business.
As milk production booms, what to do with all the milk? Growth is not expected to slow any time soon. Larger and more efficient barns are being built, and new processing and other facilities are coming on line this year. The new Select Milk Producers’ butter powder plant in Littlefield, scheduled to open in the coming months, is expected to fill very quickly.
Our strong and vibrant dairy industry is becoming a leader among Texas agriculture commodities and is being recognized by state leaders. The total economic impact of the dairy industry in Texas in 2017 was estimated at more than $3.5 billion – milk is ranked third in Texas agriculture commodities for its economic impact. When new data is available, expect economic impact to have grown.
The Texas dairy industry’s strength has not gone unnoticed at the Texas Capitol. This session it has been very obvious that the Texas Association of Dairymen is well respected at the Capitol. Our issues and our industry are well-known thanks to TAD board members who in March visited legislative offices and talked to lawmakers and their staffs as part of Dairy Day. How do we know our board made an impact? As I gave an industry update recently at a joint meeting of the Senate and House Agriculture committees, House members stopped my report discuss the issues they had visited with TAD board members about the week prior. In addition, dairy also was mentioned by several other ag commodity groups that testified at the hearing.
Ultimately, our growth is due to the hard work by our state’s dairy farmers and the advances they’re implementing on their farms. What you do is being noticed, in the milk market and in Austin.