As the prairies became farmland, almost every homesteader brought their milk cow along with them. By 1950, there were 379,000 dairy cows in South Dakota. Back then, you could probably bet that your milk came from a local herd, as almost every farm in the county milked a number of cows. In modern times, although the number of dairy cows continues to fluctuate from year to year, overall production numbers continue to rise.
Using neighboring Pipestone County, MN, as an example, Rusty Hartke will talk about the changes in the dairy industry, from bucket milkers to large automated systems. Rusty is owner of Gorter’s Clay & Dairy Equipment of Minnesota, Inc. The company has been in business since 1967 serving the agricultural industry in western Minnesota, eastern South Dakota and northwestern Iowa.
Rusty Hartke will present Reshaping the Dairy Industry at the Old Courthouse Museum at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 3rd. Stop in and learn about the changing face of the dairy industry in the past 75 years. Admission is free.