Some 65,000 cattle in South Dakota are in desperate need of experienced dairymen – and the local government is recruiting British farmers for the job.
The government of South Dakota is advertising for disillusioned UK dairy farmers prepared to start a new life in the American West, reports the Daily Telegraph. Adverts in farming newspapers will be backed up by a tour by the South Dakota International Business Institute that will take in many of the areas that suffered most from the foot and mouth crisis, including Cumbria and Devon.
The advert paints an appealing picture for British farmers: “Dream of farming in a country where you are respected by the community and your contribution to the regional economy is valued? […]Where there is little government interference? Where the minister of agriculture is a farmer himself? Where those buying produce believe you deserve a decent return on your investment? Too good to be true? Welcome to South Dakota.”
A few farmers from Belgium and the Netherlands have already emigrated to establish dairy units in South Dakota, bordered by the Rocky Mountains. The first Britons have now signed up for a 90-day reconnaissance trip, looking forward to selling their milk at a profit rather than a loss, and to a trading environment unrestricted by milk quotas.
Closer to home, the government of South Dakota is also hoping to recruit farmers from Canada.