The Future of Texas Dairies

By: Joe Brown
By: Joe Brown

“Typically young men that have been raised by their fathers on a dairy have seen the toils and strife their fathers have experienced. They’re more educated. There’s more opportunity outside of the farm.”

John Cowan is the director for the Texas Association of Dairymen and says that attrition is only one factor affecting the dairy count in Texas.

“The price of land. The encroachment of the urban communities moving in. Those types of influences will have a bigger effect on moving dairies out of this area.”

Some dairies have re-located.

“What we have seen is a trend of the dairy industry moving from the east and going west.”

“Land values are more available to them. Feed supplies are better, from the standpoint of forage and corn.”

But Cowan believes east Texas dairies are still viable.

“An east Texas dairy that’s got land that can be grazed can be as cost efficient, the bottom line as positive as a west Texas dairy, if they’ve managed and they’ve gotten their operation to the size, not carry a lot of debt load.”

“These dairies are closer to the market. There is some cost involved in moving milk, cost involved in transportation of moving feed.”

So we haven’t seen the eradication of the family dairy. In many cases they’ve simply moved. I’m Joe Brown, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From the Ground Up.

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