WISCONSIN (WKOW) — Last year proved difficult for dairy farmers across Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, the state lost more than 600 dairy herds. Now, the state has nearly half the of herds it did 15 years ago.
Farmers said increased competition from bigger farms, as well as plummeting prices and increased production costs, are driving them out of business.
Jim Goodman sold his farm last year, but he said he’s not looking his early retirement as a chance to rest. Instead, he’s sharing his story so other farmers don’t face the same fate.
“The voice of a farmer is something that’s always been lacking be it in Madison or Washington because we can’t go there everyday like lobbyists do,” he said. “We can’t tell our story because we’re really the only ones that know it.”
As for the active dairy farmers, some like Dan Wegmueller said they have to get creative if they want to keep going.
“We didn’t know if we were going to make it through the year,” he said. “We didn’t know if we were going to sell out in 2018 or not.”
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