I assume that most people, when they wake up in the morning, immediately ask themselves three questions.

  1. What's the weather going to be?
  2. What are we having for dinner tonight? And
  3. Are there more cows than people in South Dakota?

Well, you'll have to find out the answer's to those first two questions yourself. But that third one? Great news...I have the answer for ya!

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The days of the cow when I was a kid on the farm are pretty much over. Back then a farmer might have 15, 20, or 25 cows. It'd be up and milk them in the early morning, do your other farm work through the day, and then a second milking in the late afternoon or early evening. Every so often the milk hauler would come on out to the farm, pick up the milk, and 'See ya soon'.

Now, of course, we have dairy operations. The dairy industry. And it's huge and very important in the state of South Dakota. In fact, the This Is Farming website says that dairy is growing faster in South Dakota than in any other state. In fact, since 1970 South Dakota's milk production has risen to record levels. In 2020 it was responsible for 3.1 billion pounds of milk.

Yes, you read that right. 3.1 billion pounds.

You can read all about details on the South Dakota dairy industry here. But for now, we need to answer that third question: Are there more cows than people in South Dakota?

The short answer is...no.

While there are over 121,000 dairy cows on over 171 dairy farms (which by the way are 95% family-owned), according to the 2020 census there are over 879,000 of us two-legged humans that call South Dakota home. So we win.

But let's go ahead and raise a glass of milk and toast our 4-legged bovine friends.

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