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More milk in South Dakota recently spurred award-winning Davisco Foods, an international company that supplies a major portion of Kraft Foods cheese products, to complete a $40 million expansion project at their Lake Norden, South Dakota, cheese plant in anticipation of continued growth in the state’s dairy industry.

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Dairy farming is undergoing striking changes. In the 1970s, a large dairy farm had a herd of 100 milk cows. Typically, the family operating the farm provided most of the labor and grew most of the herd’s feed on the farm. While thousands of such farms remain in operation, their numbers, as well as their production methods, are in sharp decline.

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Editor’s note: The following opinion editorial was submitted to Progressive Dairyman by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

Ethanol continues to take hits from detractors both inside and outside of agriculture. An article in an early January issue of Progressive Dairyman put the bull’s eye on the back of ethanol production in relation to the price of feed grains and a few other points. We appreciate this forum for response.

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Four dairy farmers in Alaska’s Matanuska Valley may start dumping milk this month. And may be forced to shut down their operations unless stop-gap measures are put in place immediately.

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When the rain started falling on December 2, 2007, Lonny Shilter expected a typical Washington State thundershower. The forecast was for rain but not as much as fell in a February 1996 storm, which caused flooding in Shilter’s neighborhood.

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