Another California exodus: Dairy cows leave for greener pastures in Texas, Arizona as farms squeezed
SALT LAKE CITY – Dairy cows are leaving the state of Utah, looking for greener pastures – and some are leaving right in front of you.
Utah’s agriculture is in the midst of a major change, as new dairy farms move to Texas and other nearby states. The Dairy Goat Ranch in Texas has seen the move of more than 90 cows.
In June, Texas Farm Bureau president Bob Godsey said the Texas operation is the number one dairy goat operation in the U.S. and will soon be the number one goat producer in the country.
And, according to an article from CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” in the past few years, the number of dairy goats in California has fallen. Now it’s on the rise in Utah, along with a surge in dairy goat herds in Arizona.
It’s not just Utah and Arizona that’s experiencing an increase in milk goat herds. The number of dairy goats in the state of Wisconsin has doubled, going from 100 to 200.
“My mother is retired now, and she is taking care of her grandchildren,” said Jim Jones of California. “She said, ‘If I can get them into the dairy goat herd, then they will be taken care of.’”
Jones lives in San Diego County, which has the highest number of dairy goats in the nation, and he’s one of the new owners of the herd, which is now the second largest in California behind a herd from San Francisco.
In 2011, Jones was approached by a dairy goat handler in Nevada who told him he needed a milk goat for his operation. Jones said he immediately drove down to San Luis Obispo, where he met a dairy goat handler who made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Jones agreed to buy the herd