South Dakota state legislators are touring the I-29 corridor today to look at the opportunities for growth in the dairy industry. The Dairy Drive was organized by dairy processors such as Davisco in Lake Norden and Valley Queen Cheese in Milbank. Valley Queen CEO Mark Leddy says processing capacity is currently outstripping supply. So they hope to show lawmakers the need to double the state’s cow numbers, which stand at around 90,000 head.
Leddy says the tour includes their two processing plants and the Marshall County Dairy in Veblen. He says the 12,000 cow dairy was shrouded in negative publicity but in the last 20 months has turned into a real success story.
Leddy says the economic impact of that dairy has been evident as well. Sales tax receipts in Veblen have doubled from 2010 to 2011 as a result of the dairy.