Yes for Dairies and Pork Producers is the promotion coalition for referred measure 1 which provides new tools for North Dakota Dairy and Pork Farms
In the last ten years, North Dakota has seen a dramatic reduction in the amount of dairy animals in the state. The facts being, a loss of 35,000 head of dairy cows has dropped our heard to only 16,000 animals remaining with less than 90 operational dairies. The condition of the once proud and hearty dairy industry is faltering, so much so, that North Dakota risks losing production facilities.
Iowa has 21 million hogs, Minnesota 8 million, Nebraska 3.1 million and South Dakota 1.3 million. North Dakota has only 130,000 hogs. The slow decline of the hog industry has made North Dakota a complete non-factor in hog production. It is clear that barriers need to be removed in order to encourage growth.
Each hog generates $1,000 of economic impact annually. Each cow generates approximately $15,000 economic impact per year. If those impacts are expanded in the state, we will see a much greater return on the dollar for other crop producers, such as, corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. More money in the farmers’ pockets means more money for main street and greater tax revenue for our schools and other infrastructure needs. It would not only be an improvement for the agriculture sector but for the entire state both, urban and rural. Typically, in North Dakota, commodity prices have a basis of 60 cents to over a dollar on corn and a dollar to 2 dollars on soybeans. In other Midwestern states positive basis of various ranges are typical due to the demand for grain and beans for livestock and ethanol facilities.
This critical moment needs to be addressed now in order to prevent job loss and the closure of more farms. By providing new opportunities to organize dairies and hog farms, family famers will be able to engage neighbors and other capital, in order to properly manage the ebb and flow of market prices.
With a healthy dairy and pork industry in North Dakota, comes greater access to local foods, better prices, and food security. SB2351 represents a win for the family farmer and a win for the greater community.
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