A newly formed Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0 will start meeting next month to focus on on making recommendations on actions needed to maintain a viable and profitable dairy industry in our state.
Gov. Scott Walker announced the new task force and its members. In June, he asked both Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Sheila Harsdorft and University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross to pull together representatives from the entire industry, including farmers, dairy processors and allied industries.
The economic impact of the dairy industry in Wisconsin is significant, employing nearly 80,000 jobs and generating $43.4 billion in state-wide economic impact every year – nearly half of agriculture’s total economic impact.
During the mid-1980s, a dairy task force was formed and created an 82-page report that listed 75 recommendations for the industry. Many of those recommendations were implemented and helped Wisconsin retain its role as a dairy leader.
Members of the new task force include:
Farmers—Moriah Brey, Brey Cycle Farm LLC, Sturgeon Bay; Andy Buttles, Stone-Front Farm, Lancaster; Janet Clark, Vision Aire Farms, LLC, Rosendale; Tom Crosby, Crosby’s River Valley Dairy, Shell Lake; Dave Daniels, Mighty Grand Dairy, Union Grove; Patty Edelburg, Front-Page Holsteins, Scandinavia; Don Hamm, Sandy Loam Farm, Fredonia; Ryan Klussendorf, Broadland Grass Farm, Medford; Shelly Mayer, Mayer Farm, Slinger; Dan Pearson, Pearson Farm, River Falls; Amy Penterman, Dutch Dairy, Thorp; Brody Stapel, Double Dutch Dairy, Cedar Grove; Charles Untz, Untz Farm, Lake Mills and Darin Von Ruden, Von Ruden Farm, Westby.
Milk Processors and Marketers—Steve Bechel, Eau Galle Cheese Factory, Durand; Dave Buholzer, Klondike Cheese Company, Monroe; Rob Byrne, Schreiber Foods, Green Bay; Ted Galloway, Galloway Company, Neenah; Paul Scharfman, Specialty Cheese Company, Reeseville; Jerry Schroeder, Schroeder Milk Transit, Oconto Falls; Jeff Schwager, Sartori Cheese, Plymouth; David Ward, Cooperative Network, Madison; Elizabeth Wells, Organic Valley, La Farge.
Allied Organizations—John Accola, Premier Cooperative, Prairie du Sac; Dennis Bangart, AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Marshfield; Michael DeLong, First Bank of Baldwin, Baldwin; Bradley Guse, BMO Harris Bank, Arpin; Melissa Haag, Lodi Veterinary Hospital, Lodi; Rene Johnson, Union Bank and Trust Co., Evansville; John Schmidt, Landmark Services Cooperative, Appleton; and Chad Vincent, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Madison.
Dr. Mark Stephenson, Director of Dairy Policy Analysis at UW-Madison, will chair the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0.