Seven point five million dollars. That's, on average, how much money dairies pump into the Muleshoe economy in salaries alone. NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel spoke with a dairy to see how they are contributing to their community.
Muleshoe has been recruiting dairies to this part of the country for the last fifteen years. But the industry has really taken off in the last six years.
"This is the starting point for that glass of milk." Joe Osterkamp and his family moved their dairy from Southern California to Muleshoe two years ago. "It's an agriculture community they've very accepting of dairy industry."
Economic development director Janet Clayborn says, the dairies have brought nothing but positive attention to Muleshoe.
"They have very high morals, extremely good work ethics and they've given back to the community so they're the kind of people you want to bring into your community." Osterkamp says the wide open spaces and warm climate are conducive for dairies.
"Right now as you can see the cows enter, this is what they call a double 35 parallel so on one side 35 cows stay here being milked." Osterkamp dairy milks 28-hundred cows, three times every day. Each cow produces up to 72 pounds of milk per day. "Three tanks each is refrigerated, it chills the milk down to 36 degrees and a load is picked up every day."
As the milk leaves the dairies, the dollars are coming into the Muleshoe economy.
Janet says, "our population is up, we have new restaurants , our retail has increased, our school census has increased by 200 students and that's directly related to the dairy you can really see how viable dairies are."
There are ten dairies within a twelve mile radius of Muleshoe. As Janet mentioned the population growth is a direct result of the dairy industry. In fact, school enrollment has increased so much that voters passed a 25-million dollar bond package this past May. The district will add more classrooms to their elementary schools and junior high. It will also renovate part of the high school.
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