WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - High taxes, a labor shortage and a spike in prices. These are some of the issues Derek Orth, a dairy farmer in Grant County, Wisconsin said he and other farmers are dealing with.
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“The consumers get hurt because the middle people can charge whatever they want, pay farmers as little as they want,” said Orth. He said these issues are leading to a loss in profits that only benefits the middleman.

“You can make 11 gallons of milk from that 100 pounds,’ said Orth. “If the farmer was paid $20 for that 100 pounds of milk, and in the store they’re paying $3 a gallon or more that’s $33. That $13 disappears because they put it in a gallon jug.”

As President Joe Biden prepares to visit La Crosse, Wisconsin on Tuesday, the state’s agricultural leaders hope their concerns will be heard.

”It’s really not about a right and a left discussion,” said Kevin Krentz, president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. “It’s about having a continued discussion about feeding the people of our country.”

While in Wisconsin, Biden is expected to talk about “growing agriculture and rural economies.”

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson shared his thoughts on Biden’s upcoming visit.

“What I’m really hoping he will discover is that most of Wisconsin employers simply can’t hire people,” said Sen. Johnson.

Johnson blames the weekly $300 unemployment benefit with encouraging people to collect a check than go back to work.

In a statement, Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin said, “I know they are committed to supporting our hardworking farmers, building a stronger and more secured agricultural economy.”

Photojournalist/Editor Tyler Smith contributed to this report.

Last month, 14 of our dairy farms in Maine, as well as dozens of dairy farms across northern New England, got an unexpected and disappointing notice from Danone of North America saying that they were discontinuing their contracts with our organic dairy farmers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and elsewhere.

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