Growing exports vital to dairy industry’s success

Patrick Flood Photography

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

MADISON, Wis. — The key to the dairy industry’s success lies in exports as the world’s growing middle class seeks to add more dairy to their diet, according to milk marketing experts who participated in a panel discussion Jan. 18 at the Dairy Strong conference at Monona Terrace.

Panel moderator Mike North, who is president of the Dairy Business Association, kicked off the discussion by pointing out an estimated 15 percent of milk produced in Wisconsin is exported to other countries. Continue reading “Growing exports vital to dairy industry’s success”

LaClare Family Creamery wins Good Food Award

LaClare Family Creamery received a 2018 Good Food Award for its Evalon and Cave-Aged Chandoka cheeses.

By MAA

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.

“The 2018 Winners represent the vanguard in each of their industries, setting new standards for gastronomic excellence as well as social and environmental practices that have over time proven to be adopted by the rest of the industry,” the foundation reported. Continue reading “LaClare Family Creamery wins Good Food Award”

Dairy well-being workshop focuses on animal care

By MAA

Why aren’t cows allowed to go outdoors?  Why are calves raised without social interaction?  These are just a couple of the questions that consumers have about how dairy animals are cared for.  Animal welfare continues to be critical topic for dairy producers as consumers question where their food comes from, and activists pressure food companies to influence how animals are raised. Continue reading “Dairy well-being workshop focuses on animal care”

Larson wins dairy advocacy award

Patrick Flood Photography

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

MADISON, Wis. — The state’s dairy community honored an Evansville farmer for her tireless work in promoting dairy farming in her community and across the state while also maintaining a vital role on her family’s farm.

Sandy Larson shed tears when her name was announced as the Dairy Business Association’s Advocate of the Year on Wednesday night at the Dairy Strong conference at the Monona Terrace. Continue reading “Larson wins dairy advocacy award”

Schimel: Regulatory certainty key for ag, other businesses

Patrick Flood Photography

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

MADISON, Wis. — Since becoming Wisconsin’s attorney general in 2015, Brad Schimel has focused on bringing predictability and stability to the state’s regulatory environment.

Schimel, who spoke to dairy farmers and related agricultural professionals during the Dairy Strong conference Thursday at Monona Terrace, said that when businesses do not know what to expect regarding regulations they become hesitant to add employees or expand operations.

When Schimel issued a legal opinion in 2016 keeping in check the power of the state Department of Natural Resources to regulate high-capacity wells, he was looking to create certainty for state farmers who had been left in limbo. Continue reading “Schimel: Regulatory certainty key for ag, other businesses”

Dairy Strong focuses on industry’s future

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

Dairy farmers and industry professionals can personalize their experience by following one of three educational tracks at Dairy Strong 2018, which will be held Jan. 17-18 at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison, Wis.

The tracks feature informational sessions focused on three themes: legislation and advocacy; consumer trends; and dairy technology. If participants have multiple interests, they can choose to attend sessions from the different tracks.

Continue reading “Dairy Strong focuses on industry’s future”

ADC requests FDA to take action over misleading ‘milk’ labeling

By MAA
The American Dairy Coalition (ADC) has requested that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration  take immediate action and prohibit the use of “milk” in product labels used on plant-based alternative products.

Consumers rely on product labels, titles and advertising to make educated decisions on food products their families consume. Plant-based dairy alternatives that use the term “milk” vary dramatically in nutritional content from the FDA Federal Standard of Identity in law for milk products. According to the letter sent from ADC Founder Laurie Fischer to the FDA,  allowing manufactures of dairy-alternative products to imitate true dairy products through use of the world “milk” requires FDA regulatory action. The FDA must stop the intentional imitation these manufactures are using to destroy the reputation our industry has worked so hard to create.
According to the ADC, plant-based alternative dairy products have based their livelihood upon imitating dairy products. Allowing for this continuous misrepresentation is allowing them to mislead customers. Milk is milk, it is natural, consistent and wholesome and has defined compositional characteristics or manufacturing parameters unique to its standard of identity. Plant-based non-dairy alternatives purposely mis-brand products to make consumers believe plant based alternatives meet the same standard of identity as milk does. Any food product that uses a food name established by a FDA standard of identity but does not conform to the standard is deceiving.

Dairy farmers voice support for local communities, sustainability efforts

Peninsula Pride Farms President Don Niles speaks during a gathering Tuesday of Kewaunee County farmers and ag professionals.

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

CASCO, Wis. — Farmers and agricultural professionals from Kewaunee County gathered Tuesday morning at a local dairy to voice their commitment to agriculture, the community and the environment.

“We are committed to the belief that agriculture, a strong community and environmentalism can co-exist. Farms are an important part of our local communities,” said Lee Kinnard, the fifth generation of his family to farm in the county. “We take pride in being part of that 1.7 percent of the U.S. population that feeds everyone else in the country and we also take pride in protecting the environment.”

Nearly 100 area farmers and others connected to agriculture attended the gathering at Kinnard Farms Inc. near Casco prior to a state Department of Natural Resources public meeting to collect comments about the water discharge permits for five large farms. Farmers in Kewaunee County have come under scrutiny because of water quality issues. Continue reading “Dairy farmers voice support for local communities, sustainability efforts”

Bills could impact dairy industry’s future

By American Dairy  Coalition

On Oct. 25, two important bills passed through the House Judiciary Committee, both with the potential to have a large impact on dairy producers across the nation who are struggling to find reliable labor.

The first of these two bills is the Agricultural Guestworker Act (AG Act). This bill will discontinue the H-2A visa and replace it with an H-2C program that would allow dairy-operation employers with year-round work to apply. It eliminates requirements that employers provide transportation and housing and allows employers to have contractual or at-will agreements with workers.

While not perfect, this bill could have a huge positive impact on farmers, allowing the industry to move the dial toward a workable guest-worker program that is functional and not bogged down with inefficiencies and bureaucratic red tape. Continue reading “Bills could impact dairy industry’s future”

Kosher milk opens new markets for dairies

By Nikki Kallio
MAA

With just a little extra effort, milk producers can reach into wider consumer markets by offering high kosher products to people who follow Jewish dietary laws.

First, the milk must come from animals considered “kosher,” a term which essentially means “proper” or “acceptable” according to biblical law. Kosher animals include those that both chew their cud and have split hooves. So, yes, dairy cows are generally kosher animals, but there are instances in which they would not be. Continue reading “Kosher milk opens new markets for dairies”