An upcoming virtual event will examine the role of undocumented immigrant workers in the Wisconsin dairy industry. Set for 7pm on Tuesday, May 3rd, the webinar will feature a conversation centered on the short documentary “Los Lecheros.” Registrants will receive a link to view the documentary in advance.
A collaboration between Twelve Letter Films and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, “Los Lecheros” focuses on some of the workers and farmers struggling to survive amidst shifting policies. Immigrants make up over half of U.S. dairy workers. Many Wisconsin farm owners, like film protagonist John Rosenow, insist that immigrants are critical to the success of their farms. Workers, like Miguel Hernandez, who spent 16 years on a Wisconsin dairy farm, and Guillermo Ramos, who manages a 1,000-cow farm, are weighing the options for their families and their jobs amidst fears of deportation and family separation.
The webinar will feature a panel, moderated by Dee Hall of Wisconsin Watch. Panelists will include John Rosenow, Buffalo County dairy farmer; Nick Levendofsky, Wisconsin Farmers Union government relations director; and Ruth Conniff, journalist and author of Milked. The panelists will discuss policies and new developments around work visas, as well as the powerful personal relationships farmers in Wisconsin are building with families in Mexico.
This event is being organized by the Southwest Wisconsin Area Progressives, The Farley Center, and Wisconsin Farmers Union. RSVP at www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com/events.