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Copperas Cove students learn about dairy's impact on Texas economy

Posted at 11:02 AM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 12:04:03-04

COPPERAS COVE, TX — Got milk? It is a popular campaign slogan that families across the nation and in Texas are asking on a regular basis as need increases.

According to the Texas Association of Dairymen, 351 Texas Grade A Dairies with an estimated 586,395 cows produced more than 14.8 billion pounds of milk equating to more than 1.7 billion gallons, in 2020, up seven percent from 2019.

The total economic impact of the Texas dairy industry in 2018 was estimated at almost $4.3 billion. Milk is ranked fourth in Texas agriculture commodities for its economic impact.

These are just a few of the facts that Copperas Cove High School students learned as the Copperas Cove FFA kicked off the celebration of National FFA Week with a presentation from Southwest Dairy Farms.

CCHS Agriculture and CTE classes rotated through the information workshop learning dairy farms, healthy living, dairy cattle breeds, nutritional requirements and care of dairy cattle.

Students witnessed a firsthand demonstration on the equipment used, milking procedures, and the process of milking dairy cows.

A Holstein cow, Katy Bell, was used for the milking demonstrations.

Some students were exposed in person to cattle for the first time.

"It was very entertaining," Saymon Taylor said. "We got to learn about different types of cows and their many uses."

According to the Texas Association of Dairymen, the average Texas dairy herd has 1,487 cows and each cow produces an average of 2,861 gallons of milk per year, or about 7.84 gallons per day.

Both Texas milk production and milk output per cow rank fifth nationally.

The total economic impact of the Texas dairy industry in 2018 was estimated at almost $4.3 billion. Dairy milk and cows brought in more than $2.4 billion in total cash receipts in 2019, with a $1.8 billion total contribution to Texas' gross domestic product.

Milk is ranked fourth in Texas agriculture commodities for its economic impact. Milk produced in Texas in 2018 had an estimated value of almost $2 billion, which is 7.86 percent of the total value of all Texas agriculture commodity production.

Texas dairy exports totaled $321 million in 2019.

"The classes had an enjoyable time and learned some new things," said FFA adviser, Danielle Sherwood. "The mobile dairy was a great start to the celebration of National FFA Week."

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