Missouri's dairy loss ‘a slippery slide’

State’s dairy industry has declined greatly in nearly 40 years

Missouri may not have lost its dairy industry yet, but its strength has been greatly diminished in recent years.

In 1975, Missouri was home to 330,000 head of dairy cattle that produced milk at about 20,000 dairy farms across the state. Today, Missouri has fewer than 95,000 dairy cows, and as of December 2012, the number of grade A and manufacturing dairies in the state was 1,348 — down from 1,504 a year earlier.

“It’s definitely on a slippery slide,” said Dave Drennan, president of the Missouri Dairy Association. “As we lose the dairies, we lose the cows and the on-farm jobs.”

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