Gov. Rounds announces dairy development grant

Gov. Rounds announces dairy development grant Gov. Mike Rounds announced today that Prairie Utilization Technologies of Willow Lake, has received $66,750 from the Value-Added Ag Subfund to study the feasibility of a small dairy operation in the Willow Lake area.

"South Dakota is working hard to increase its dairy production opportunities in the state. This project will help define size and profitability of small scale dairy production facilities," said Gov. Rounds.

The governor said the study is important because there is no documented information to support the feasibility of smaller dairy operations. "South Dakota needs more dairy production for our existing milk processor demands. We need to continue to aggressively find ways to increase our milk production levels," he said.

Positive results from the feasibility study could influence Prairie Utilization Technologies to form a new entity whose purpose would be to build dairy facilities. This approach would increase the likelihood of attracting prospects interested in buying an existing facility.

The Prairie Utilization Technologies was formed in late 2001 with the goal of utilizing, rather than exporting, locally produced commodities. The Willow Lake area possesses many attributes that compliment dairy development.

"This is an excellent example of a proactive community attempting to build their economic viability through value-added agriculture ventures," Rounds said.

According to Rounds, when completed, the state will make the small scale feasibility study will be available to other projects. "Prairie Utilization Technologies came up with a creative approach to attracting more dairy cows to their area. If successful, it may provide a model for other communities to follow."

The Value-Added Ag Subfund is designed to support feasibility and marketing research for ag processing projects. For more information on the subfund, call the Governor's Office of Economic Development at 1-800-872-6190.

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