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More Wisconsin farms become extended family affair

Family Farming

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Fewer Wisconsin farms are run by nuclear families as cousins, siblings and others join together to share work and expertise.

New federal data show most of Wisconsin's roughly 70,000 farms are family-owned, but nearly half -- 48.6 percent -- are run by more than one person.

Partnerships are particularly appealing in the dairy industry, where cows need nearly around-the-clock care.

Karen Hughes says working with her father, uncles and cousins on their farm near Allenton means she can focus on milking and caring for cows, while relatives handle manure management, crop rotation and machinery.

Sharing the work also allows family members to volunteer at church, the local fire department and on the town board.

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