Creating an effective Dairy Task Force - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Creating an effective Dairy Task Force

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

On Tuesday Governor Scott Walker announced the formation of the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0 in an effort to maintain a profitable industry for Wisconsin's dairy farmers.

Anne Marie Elwing, a practicing veterinarian and partner at Wall-Stone Holsteins, deals with dairy farmers after her work day is over.

"Then I come home and I feel it personally myself and on the dairy, and you hate to pick and choose projects that you want to do, but right now you have to," Elwing describes.

Sometimes Wisconsin dairy farmers aren't able to work on those necessary projects.

"The biggest challenge for them is staying in business. We're not making a profit, we are just trying to feed our family and get by," Elwing elaborates.

It's not only smaller dairy farms that are struggling to get by though.

"Size-wise we lost an 800 cow dairy, a 2,250 cow dairy, and a 500 cow dairy, not small by any means," Elwing says.

The recently announced Dairy Task Force aims to alleviate some of the stress weighing down on Wisconsin farmers.

"A lot of times when you hear that term task force, it's really, it's a group coming together identifying those problems and developing solutions," Kaitlyn Lance, Agriculture Educator at UW-Extension La Crosse County, explains.

Identifying problems by working in collaboration with Wisconsin farms to help them continue the dairy state's reputation.

"Now if the dairy task force comes in an looks at specifics on marketing, how tariffs are going to impact us, I think even educating farmers, in general, will help," Elwing discloses.

Lance says farmers aren't the only people the task force should focus on educating.

"Farmers feel like there is a disconnect between the consumer and the farmer, so maybe providing more education to the consumer can get back to the idea of what a family farm looks like, or even if it's not a family farm, what a corporate farm looks like," Lance finishes.

Besides further education, Lance recommends grants and programs to support dairy farms in tough economic times.

Dairy production generates over $40 billion each year while creating nearly 80,000 jobs in the state.

MORE: Office of Governor Walker's Official Report

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