Arkansas to Look into Recruiting More Dairies

NOVEMBER 2, 2006 - Posted at 7:57 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Richard Bell says the state is looking at ways to recruit more dairies after a drop in milk production over the years.

The issue came up today before the state agriculture board. Bell said urbanization and development had contributed to a drop in milk production in the state in recent years. He recalled that. 20 years ago, if you went up to northwest Arkansas, you would see lots of great pastures and farms. But he said those farms are now housing developments.

The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture say that, in the early 1990s, Arkansas had about 1,900 dairy farms. Now the state boasts just 320 farms. Last year, milk production on Arkansas farms totaled 297  million pounds. A year earlier, Arkansas farms produced 323 million pounds, and in 1995, the state produced 675 millions pounds.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)