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Abstract

States have developed programs to expand or attract new dairies. Whether these programs played a role in producers' decisions is evaluated. A multi-state survey of milk producers was conducted to identify factors affecting producers' decisions to expand dairy. Results are presented by state and size of dairy. The public promotion and support category was ranked the lowest in importance for dairy growth, but individual items within the category were rated as positive. Of the 42 items rated, extension service received the tenth highest rating of importance. Assistance in obtaining licenses and permits, and guaranteed loans had ratings implying a positive impact, but to a lesser extend than extension and university research. Market for milk and co-products was ranked the most important. The second most important category was resource availability and resource prices, but this ranking varied by size. Small dairies ranked family and community ties second and large dairies ranked regulatory environment as second. Illinois milk producers compared to other state producers had perceived disadvantages with respect to land prices, utility costs, climate and ease of regulatory compliance.

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