DBA president rejects call to remove “Dairyland” from WI license plate

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Mike North, president of the Dairy Business Association, rejected a suggestion today by the president of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce that the state consider removing the slogan, “America’s Dairyland,” from state license plates.

“Considering the dairy community’s continuing contribution to the culture and economy of our state, it would be disheartening to make such a change after nearly 80 years,” North said. “We are talking about a $43.4 billion impact on the Wisconsin economy and tens of thousands of jobs. There are few single products in this state that provide more of an economic boost.”

On Monday, WMC Executive Director Kurt Bauer said the state should consider dropping the motto, which has been on the state’s license plates since 1940. He said residents should reimagine their identities for the 21st century and that “Forward” would be a better motto.

North said the state’s dairy heritage should be celebrated, not hidden.

“The dairy community — with its hard-working farm families, cheesemakers and host of other supporting businesses —  has been the backbone of this state for well over a century,” he said. “Our farms, processing plants and universities are looked to from around the globe for technological advances. Innovation and modernization abound in dairy food production and safety, animal care and nutrition, environmental stewardship and numerous other facets of dairying.”

Founded in 1999, the Dairy Business Association is a nonprofit organization comprised of Wisconsin dairy farmers, milk processors, vendors and business partners.