Kansas has become a major dairy state during the past decade. In 1996, Kansas ranked 30th in total milk production, 29th in dairy cow numbers and 34th in milk production per cow in the U.S. About 1,000 permitted dairy herds existed in 1996. Since then, a major expansion of the dairy industry has occurred in western Kansas and in long-established dairy enterprises elsewhere in the state. At the end of 2006, Kansas ranked 17th in total milk production, 19th in dairy cows and 9th in milk production per cow. At the end of 2006 Kansas had 112,000 dairy cows on 441 permitted dairies. Kansas is considered to be a major dairy expansion state and likely will continue to expand.