Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



The butterfat produced over the greater part of the state of South Dakota has been sold by farmers largely in the form of farm separated cream because of the low density of milk suppliers and limitations imposed by road and climatic conditions. Much of the butter manufactured from this cream has been of poor quality and adjustments which improve quality have been slow in taking place. Changes are needed that will improve the quality and, perhaps add to the variety of the dairy products manufactured if the dairy industry in South Dakota is to continue to make its contribution to the state’s agriculture. Can this be done without increasing unduly the costs of farm handling, assembly, processing, and marketing? In 1952, representatives from twenty-three creameries in eastern South Dakota and southwestern Minnesota met to discuss the procurement of butterfat in the form of whole milk. The group engaged an engineer to estimate the cost of the construction of a skim milk drying plant in the area. The estimated cost was so high as to discourage further meetings and group action. However, a number of the plant managers continued to be interested in converting to whole milk procurement. It was because of their continued interest that this study was undertaken. Whole milk procurement would increase the likelihood of not only higher quality products but also new products which are not possible or as feasible from farm separated cream. Although a better grade of butter should be manufactured from butterfat received with whole milk procurement, the increase in the price received for a higher grade of butter is not great. An increase in the return to the patrons of the creameries is more apt to be realized with the production of new products such as ice cream mix. The hesitation on the part of the plants to convert to whole milk operations arose because of a number of questions: (1) What would be the costs of procuring and processing the whole milk in this areas? (2) How many of the producers would be willing or desire to market whole milk? (3) Will the revenue from whole milk products be sufficient to cover the added expenses of operating a whole milk plant and leave enough to encourage the producers to supply an adequate volume?

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Butter trade
Milk trade



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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