Does Massachusetts Have More Cows Than People?
It seems like there used to be a lot more cows in Massachusetts. There must have been, because the number of dairy farms I remember here in Southeastern Massachusetts has shrunk.
When I lived in Vermont, some said there were more cows than people. According to beef2live.com, nine states have more cows than people, but Vermont is not one of them.
Nor is Massachusetts.
South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Idaho, Iowa and Oklahoma have more cows than people. In South Dakota, there are four times as many cows as people.
According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau stats, there are 6.95 million people in Massachusetts. That's an awful lot of milk drinkers.
So how many dairy cows call Massachusetts home?
According to NewEnglandDairy.com, there are 10,000 dairy cows on 125 dairy farms in Massachusetts, maintaining 113,600 acres of land.
"That's almost half the size of all the state parks in Massachusetts combined," the site reported. "97% of Massachusetts dairy farms are owned and run by families."
Those farms run 365 days a year.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources says, "Dairy farming circulates approximately $45 million to local economies." Together they produce approximately 200 pounds of milk.
The site says, "Dairy farming has been a part of Massachusetts agriculture ever since settlers brought cows to Plymouth in 1624."
NewEnglandDairy.com says there are seven types of dairy cow in Massachusetts, including Holstein, the most common breed, Jersey, Brown Swiss, Ayrshire, Milking Shorthorn, Guernsey and Red and White Holstein.