Cornucopia’s Take: Wisconsin lost nearly two dairies a day in 2018, most of them family farms. As factory farm “organic” dairies continue to grow their operations, ethical organic farmers continue to lose their footholds as well. Use Cornucopia’s Dairy Scorecard to choose the best milk, cheese, butter, and other dairy products for your loved ones. Your dollars count!
Dairy farmers are in crisis — and it could change Wisconsin forever
Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Farmers cling to a dream that, for some, has become a nightmare.
There was a time when the soft glow of barn lights dotted Wisconsin’s rural landscape like stars in a constellation, connecting families who labored into the night milking cows, feeding calves and finishing chores.
Hundreds of those barns are dark now, the cows gone, the hum of milking machines silenced.
“All of our neighbors are done,” said Sue Spaulding, a dairy farmer near Shell Lake, in Washburn County.
She and her husband, Chuck, soldier on, milking about 60 cows on their 300-acre farm that Chuck bought when he was only 17.
Seven years ago, the Spauldings borrowed heavily to modernize their barn and position things for the future.
“It looked good on paper,” Sue said. Read Full Article »