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Dairying Industry

Suniland Magazine


Florida has the basic foundations for the erection of the greatest dairying industry in the United States, although at the present time she does not even supply her own needs, importing milk by the trainload, whereas with Cuba at her doors she should not only be self supporting but a large exporter as well. The advantages of Florida in this branch of the cattle industry are pronounced. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Florida dairy herds have the lowest rate of tuberculosis infection of all the states, less than one half of one per cent. Florida milk, too, contains on the average two per cent more total solids than the milks of the principal Northern dairying sections, and, according to Nathan Mayo, State Commissioner of Agriculture, a hundred pounds of average Florida milk will make ten per cent more condensed milk of Government standard than a similar amount of milk from any Northern area.

Florida's equable climate, and absence of cold weather, with the ability of the dairyman to provide pasturage outdoors throughout the year, are some of the contributing factors to successful dairying in this state, as are her really marvelous range of grasses and forage crops, of which there are said to be nearly two hundred distinct varieties.

Although still far from the mark that she hopes to reach in the not-distant future, Florida has made wonderful strides in dairying in recent years.

Just consider, for instance, what has been accomplished in Dade County, of which Miami, miracle city of the world, is the capital. Not so many years ago, this county had no registered dairy cows at all, while in 1921 her dairies numbered less than forty, many of the individual cows being unregistered. Today Dade County, which, by the way, is one of the few tick-free regions of the state has 75 modernly equipped dairies, with registered stock to the number of 3,500, it being the boast of the county that, with only three unregistered bulls in its confines, it has a record unapproached anywhere in the land.

Dade County, last year, won the Grand Prize at the International Live Stock Show at Chicago for the best cow of the Dutch White Belted Division. This animal, "Geni of Columbia," owned by Dr J. G. DuPuis, of Lemon City, a suburb of Miami, produced 14,175 pounds of milk and 559 pounds of butter fat in a single year. Her herds of Jersey and other dairy breeds are among the finest in the state, and are increasing steadily. The dairy industry of the county now represents an investment of approximately $3,000,000.

Palm Beach, another tick-free county, has also made great progress in dairying, being particularly famed for its Splendid herd of registered Guernseys, while "Imperial Polk" as its citizens call it, has many fine blooded animals, its famous Jersey herds at Bartow holding a majority of the state records for milk and butter fat production. Other counties of the main peninsula that have developed their dairying industries on a considerable scale are Marion, Hernando, Hillsboro, Orange, Alachua, and Duval.

West Florida, too, has made great strides in dairying, particularly in Escambia and Leon Counties, the last named having been for years the foremost dairying county of the entire state. There are at present some 3,500 head of dairy cattle in the county, including, besides Jerseys, Guernseys, and Holsteins, the best herd of Ayrshires in Florida. One of the largest co-operative creameries in Florida is located in Leon County.

Excerpt from Agassiz, Garnault. "Florida in Tomorrow's Sun."
Suniland, Nov. 1925, Vol.3, No.2., Pgs. 37-45; 88-94; 113-133


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