ADC: Blizzard-impacted farmers need to take action

In an effort to speed up potential relief efforts for farmers impacted by Wisconsin’s recent Blizzard Evelyn, the Wisconsin-based American Dairy Coalition (ADC) is asking those who sustained damage to contact their Farm Service Agency (FSA) office immediately.
Officials will quantify the damage reports and estimate the losses on a county-by-county basis. The totals will be provided to Gov. Scott Walker to use as the criteria for possible monetary assistance from state and/or federal resources.
“Time is of the essence,” said Laurie Fischer, ADC chief executive officer. “Whether they are facing collapsed structures, lost milk production, high insurance deductibles, animal losses or other situations, farmers need to get their damages on the record with their local FSA office. Just one phone call could have a big impact down the road.”

Continue reading “ADC: Blizzard-impacted farmers need to take action”

WI Milk Marketing Board adopts new name

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board has a new name – Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW). This initiative represents a new strategic mission, vision and identity more firmly aligning the efforts of Wisconsin’s dairy farmers to expand growth opportunities domestically and around the world.

“As the marketing and promotion arm for Wisconsin’s dairy farmers, this new identity puts the dairy farmers squarely at the center of what we do and provides a much stronger platform to share the Wisconsin dairy story,” said Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin CEO Chad Vincent. “Our organization exists to be tireless advocates for our dairy farmers, to help these family businesses thrive because they, and the fruits of their labor, are the heartbeat of the industry and our state.”

The Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin builds awareness of Wisconsin-produced dairy products by creating national publicity, managing digital advertising, and driving sales, distribution and trial through retail and foodservice promotions. It also supports in-school education about the benefits of dairy and funding for the UW Center for Dairy Research.

“The dairy industry is facing several challenges, including globalization of our markets, increased regulation and ongoing low prices for milk,” said Jeff Strassburg, board chair and a fifth-generation Wisconsin dairy farmer. “This change will put Wisconsin dairy farmers in a better position to help us grow and stay focused on the future.”

As a key economic engine of the state, the dairy industry contributes $43.4 billion annually to Wisconsin’s economy, generates tens of thousands of jobs and supports a variety of allied industries – as well as communities – throughout the state. Ninety percent of the milk in Wisconsin goes into making cheese, and 90 percent of that cheese is sold outside state lines, generating statewide income across multiple economic sectors. Through the partnership between farmers and dairy processors, the state has seen Wisconsin specialty cheese sales outpace the cheese category overall and per capita consumption of cheese more than double since 1983.

For more on the change, click here.


Wisconsin farm named a ‘dairy of distinction’

By Dairy Farmers of America
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Styer family, owners of Alfalawn Farm in Menomonie, Wis., has been named a 2018 Members of Distinction by Dairy Farmers of America (DFA).

The Members of Distinction program recognizes dairy farmers who excel on their operations, in their communities and in the industry. Honorees inspire others through their actions, leadership and involvement. They represent the best of the dairy industry.

DFA comprises more than 14,500 farmer-owners across the United States. Each year, one notable member farm from each of DFA’s seven regional Areas is selected to receive this honor. Alfalawn Farm represents the Cooperative’s Central Area. Continue reading “Wisconsin farm named a ‘dairy of distinction’”

Co-ops team up to finance projects

Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) of Novi, Mich. and Foremost Farms USA of Baraboo, Wis., announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU incorporates intense focus within the two cooperatives to drive mutual investment to maximize members’ returns on their quality milk.

The MOU formalizes advanced discussions between the two cooperatives to pursue proposed co-investment opportunities which include, but are not limited to, the Middlebury Cheese Company and the recently announced dairy campus in Greenville, Mich. It also incorporates expanding the current strategic alliance the two cooperatives have had in place since 2014 at the MMPA Constantine plant with the reverse osmosis investment.

“This commitment not only includes investments but also creates a marketing partnership that will mutually benefit both organizations. By working cooperatively, we are utilizing each cooperative’s independent strengths,” said MMPA General Manager Joe Diglio. “Through collaborative efforts, we can avoid investing in redundant assets and allow us to fully optimize our members’ capital investments.”

Foremost Farms hopes to open the first phase of its Greenville campus this fall.

“We collectively believe more immediate investment is needed to satisfy the imbalance between milk production and milk solids processing capacity.” said Mike Doyle, President and CEO, Foremost Farms. “We believe this arrangement will help satisfy that need and create value-added processing growth.”

Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance looks to the future

DARLINGTON, Wis. — More than 100 farmers, community members and agribusiness professionals came together recently to explore conservation practices and how farmers can make them economically viable.

The topics formed the core of the first annual meeting of the Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance (LASA) on March 1. LASA is a nonprofit farmer-led group focused on protecting and improving the quality of water and other natural resources in Lafayette County in southwestern Wisconsin. Continue reading “Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance looks to the future”

Two LaClare cheeses win Good Food Awards

MALONE, Wis.  — Selected on the merits of best agricultural practices and great taste, a pair of LaClare Family Creamery cheeses have won the nationally recognized 2018 Good Food Award.
The non-profit, San Francisco-based Good Food Foundation cited Wisconsin-based LaClare Family Creamery’s Evalon and Cave-Aged Chandoka cheeses at the top tier among the nation’s top cheeses. Continue reading “Two LaClare cheeses win Good Food Awards”

Baldwin: Fairness for our farmers

By Senator Tammy Baldwin
Wisconsin’s dairy industry is a key driver of our state’s agricultural economy and a core part of our rural communities.

Our dairy farmers work every day to ensure that their milk meets high standards for nutritional value and quality. Unfortunately, imitation products have gotten away with using dairy’s good name for their own benefit, taking advantage of the effort our farmers put in with none of the work. Mislabeling of plant-based products as “milk” is unfair and hurts our dairy farmers.

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Sewage spill coverage shows media bias

By American Dairy Coalition
The American farmer once conjured images of hardworking, honest folks whose labor provided us with abundant food. However, today the same hard-working individuals who try to make a living supplying the nation’s food are under attack. They are labeled as polluters, animal abusers, and creators of products that attempt to kill us. It would be laughable if only a huge segment of the population didn’t believe this to be true!  Still worse, it is becoming increasingly evident the press is supporting this attack through its collective “selective outrage” and inconsistent reporting of environmental events.  Continue reading “Sewage spill coverage shows media bias”

Honoring the land

Dairy earns conservation award

“We abuse land because we regard it as a
commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
-Aldo Leopold,
Foreword, A Sand
County Almanac

Brickstead Dairy in Greenleaf, Wis., received the Aldo Leopold Conservation Award.

By Leah Call
After more than a decade of implementing conservation efforts at Brickstead Dairy in Greenleaf, Wis., fifth-generation farm owner Dan Brick feels optimistic about the land he will someday pass on to his three sons.

“I know my kids are going to have a tough time taking over the farm—hopefully we kind of turned the ship around, improving things going forward,” Brick said. “I can say I gave it my best effort to give my kids the opportunity to farm.”

Last December, Brick’s efforts were recognized when he received the Aldo Leopold Conservation Award, founded by the Sand County Foundation and presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association.

The award, bearing the name of famed conservationist Aldo Leopold, recognizes farmers throughout the United States for private land stewardship and outstanding conservation practices. Continue reading “Honoring the land”

Dairy farmers win with Pizza Hut decision

ROSEMONT, Ill. – Pizza Hut has increased the amount of cheese on its pan pizzas by 25 percent, a move that will require an additional 150 million pounds of milk annually to meet the change.
The project was made possible thanks to dairy scientist Nitin Joshi, a Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) employee who works onsite at Pizza Hut’s headquarters in Plano, Texas. Pan pizza is the chain’s signature product offering and the new formulations are now available at more than 6,000 restaurants nationwide. Pizza Hut is a checkoff partner. Continue reading “Dairy farmers win with Pizza Hut decision”