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Contact Region 9

Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Animal Agriculture

Regional Information

California is the nation's leading dairy state, and dairy products are California's most valuable agricultural product, worth over $5 billion per year.  California is also twelfth in the nation in broiler chicken production, which is California twelfth most valuable agricultural product, worth about $630 million, and sixth in the nation in turkey production at $197 million. Animal agriculture in Region 9 produces a significant part of the nation’s food supply.

However, animal agriculture also affects the environment. Over the last 30 years, the number of milk cows in California has more than doubled while the number of dairies has halved.  This consolidation of dairy cows has increased the amount and concentration of manure, especially in the San Joaquin Valley where three-quarters of the state’s dairy cows now live.  Like any concentrated waste, animal manure can pollute air, surface water, and groundwater if improperly managed.

Region 9 works closely with state regulatory agencies and the dairy industry to prevent and reduce the environmental effects of animal agriculture.

Programs & Resources

cows feeding
Photo courtesy of the USDA ARS

Dairy Manure Collaborative

The Region 9 Agriculture Program leads the San Joaquin Valley Dairy Manure Collaborative, which was created in 2003 to comprehensively address dairy issues in the Valley. The goal of the DMC is manage manure as a resource to improve soil quality, provide nutrients for crop fertilization, and to generate renewable energy. Additionally, the DMC seeks to create jobs and develop technical solutions to the regulatory challenges of reducing emissions of air and water pollutants.

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