99% of the displaced milk in Wisconsin has found a home in time for the May 1st deadline for their contracts with Grassland Dairy expiring.
The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) announced they will provide amended loan guarantees with more favorable terms to Wisconsin dairy farmers and processors.
Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection Secretary Ben Brancel says this agreement is saving the livelihood of some Wisconsin farmers.
“It means everything to those families,” said Brancel. “I can tell you that without a home for the milk they were producing, there was not a place for their dairy herd, there was not a place for the investments that had been put in, in some cases, investments over generations.”
Brancel also says this shows just how tight knit the dairy community in Wisconsin is.
“It shows this dairy community really works together and everybody steps up to try and help each other out and that the dairy industry in Wisconsin is a very resilient industry. It doesn’t mean we won’t have challenges in the future, but it really showed that everybody was willing to pitch in and work together to solve a problem,” he said.
A news release from the Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative says 58 farms have new contracts in place. It’s believed Grassland canceled 70 to 75 contracts.
Grassland says milk from Wisconsin can no longer be sold at a competitive price in Canada because of new tariffs for ultra-filtered milk that’s used to make certain types of cheese. Canada says oversupply in the U.S. market – not their new Class 7 trade rules – are to blame for the problem. The Trump Administration retaliated with new tariffs on Canadian lumber earlier this week. It’s not known if the bubbling trade war was discussed during a phone call between Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about renegotiating parts of NAFTA on Wednesday.
The Trump Administration retaliated with new tariffs on Canadian lumber. It’s not known if the bubbling trade war was discussed during a phone call between Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about renegotiating parts of NAFTA on Wednesday.
A cooperative known as Dairy Farmers of America has offered six-month milk contracts to several farms being dropped by Grassland. They’re a cooperative with more than 13,000 members in 48 states. Mullins Cheese in Knowlton also offered milk contracts to some of the impacted farms.
Dairy farmers were worried that they’d have to begin dumping milk starting on Monday when their old contracts ran out.
The more than 9,000 dairy farmers in the state provide almost 80,000 jobs and generate $43.4 billion in economic impact every year.