REXFORD, Kan. (AP) _ Dairy operations continue to prosper in western Kansas, boosting the state to 17th in national milk production rankings.
The state agriculture department says it expects Kansas to be in the top 15 after this year. That's thanks largely to western Kansas, which produces nearly 70 percent of the milk in the state.
More than 300 dairies operate throughout Kansas, ranging in size from fewer than 250 cows to 12,000.
The Salina Journal reports ((http://bit.ly/LSeZ6q) ) that on Wednesday, the McCarty Family Farms Dairy near Rexford in northwest Kansas will celebrate a direct marketing deal with yogurt maker Dannon.
The agriculture department says operations like the McCartys' create jobs and help stabilize towns across western Kansas. The department says that, in general, every 80 to 150 cows require one dairy employee.