Whatcom County farms are powerhouses when it comes to berries; they're also bigtime when it comes to dairy cows.
The county has more than 120 dairy farms, with a total of more than 46,000 milk cows.
The average cow produces more than 23,000 pounds of milk a year, equal to nearly 3,000 gallons per cow. In 2010, all of that milk had a market value of $169.3 million.
Such figures make Whatcom the second biggest dairy county in the Pacific Northwest, trailing only Yakima County, which has fewer farms but more than twice the pounds of milk production.
Most dairy cows on local farms are the familiar black-and-white Holsteins. But more farmers are turning to Jerseys (pictured) because they eat less, yet produce milk that's higher in butterfat and protein, the components of cheese and other solid dairy products.
Reach DEAN KAHN at email@example.com or call 715-2291.