Last week, I took on the role of “Santa Claus,” so to speak. Around this time of year, my Uncle Randall usually goes to visit the dairies whose calves we raise and/or purchase to check in on them, as well as to hand out Christmas gifts as a token of our appreciation for their business. Well, with my grandpa in the hospital, Uncle Randall’s work load has quite literally doubled, and so the Christmas gifting was left to me.
I had a lot of fun. I was able to see a large variety of dairy farms as well as meet many of the dairymen that we work with. I also discovered that it is practically impossible to find a dairyman. They are constantly movin’ and shakin’ around the farm. They could be in the milk barn, they could be doing vet check around the dairy, they could be in the corrals, they could be at a cattle sale…you just NEVER know where they’re going to be. I found them…but it wasn’t easy!
In addition to that discovery, I realized that there are dairy farms everywhere in the Valley. Which means that there are cows…everywhere. I always knew that Tulare County was a leader of milk production for the state of California and I knew that there were a lot of dairy farms, but until I drove up and down the Central Valley for 6 days in a row, I did not understand that there is an incredible, insane amount of dairy farms. My drive through the valley inspired me to write a blog post giving you a few statistics about dairy farms & milk production in Tulare County & California, as an entirety. So, here you have it, people:
Top 5 Milk Producing Counties in California
Other Random Facts
- California produces 21% of the nation’s supply of milk – leading the nation’s milk supply.
- If Tulare County were a state, it would rank #22 in milk production.
- In 2010, there were 502,395 cows on 311 dairies in Tulare County alone.
- Approximately 1 out of every 6 cows in the United States is from California.
When I went to school in Southern California, my friends used to always tease me that when they drove through my homeland, Tulare County, it smelled like cows. To be honest, I can’t smell it. But I wouldn’t be surprised if you can smell cows – we clearly have a few over here in Tulare County. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m thankful for all of the dairy farmers, no matter what county or state they farm in, who put in hard hours of work everyday around their farms, so that people like you and I can enjoy a nice, cold glass of milk whenever we want to!
“Dairy” Christmas, y’all!