What attracted Verboom to Glenn County -- beyond that his two sons and a son-in-law already own dairies there and all eight of his grandchildren are there -- was a pro-agriculture atmosphere. For example, he says, "They have an ordinance that says if you're outside of the city limits of the cities in Glenn County then the county, being an agricultural county, does not consider dust, flies, spraying, and such as being a nuisance. It's part of business. They're very pro-agriculture, and that's one of the things that attracted us to Glenn County. And, they had some milk plants up there to buy our milk." Cheaper feed will be an another advantage Glenn County has over San Diego. Verboom will be able to grow much of his own grain, and hay should be cheaper. Here, he pays $140 per ton for hay out of the Imperial Valley and about the same for grain that comes from Ontario. Prices in Glenn County, "Right now they are cheaper," Verboom says. "We're closer to the feed source, and we can buy direct from farmers rather than going through brokers. So there will be fewer middle men, less hauling. It's a very farm-friendly community as far as feed access goes."
Shipping his milk to the local plants might be easier in Glenn County as well. At his Pala Valley dairy, Verboom milks, refrigerates to 34 degrees, and ships out a truckload of milk per day on a truck owned by Land O' Lakes, the conglomerate that buys his milk. At the new dairy, "We may do our own trucking," Verboom says. "My sons and my son-in-law are already there in Glenn County, and they're pretty close to the milk plants. We'll be producing four to five loads every day, and it will be cost effective for us to have our own truck." Currently, Verboom's Northern California facility is near complete. The final step will be moving his 1200-head, 90 percent Holstein, 90 percent brown Swiss herd. "It will take 48 trucks," the dairyman explains, "and it will happen all in one night. We will milk them here, load them on the truck, then unload them at the other end and milk them right away and then let them have something to eat. We'll have people working on both ends. I'll either be here or on the other end. I'm not sure yet."
Each truckload of cows will cost Verboom between $1200 and $1500. The move will happen "as soon as we're ready," he says. "I was hoping for December, but I don't think we're going to make it. It's probably going to be in spring sometime.
"We're going to miss it here," Verboom admits. "This area is the most even-temperatured area in the country. We'll miss that very much. We've lived here a long time, and we have our church here, the Rancho Community Church over by Temecula, which we helped start back in 1968. There are a lot of friendships there. On the other hand, all of our grandchildren are up in Glenn County, and we've started to make friends up there. I think that if my kids had not been interested in the dairy business, I probably would have stayed here and fought the battles and eventually I would have retired here from the dairy business. But because our kids were interested and I couldn't see much chance for them to continue here, it was good for us to look elsewhere."