Wisconsin dairy farmers focus of new plan

Ron Kind: New plan will help secure future of dairy industry

Dairy is a huge part of Wisconsin’s economy, but Congressman Ron Kind says dairy farmers are in trouble with profits at a 30- year low.

This week, Kind released a plan he says will help secure the future of the dairy industry.

Kind calls for expanding agricultural research in Wisconsin, coming up with new export markets for dairy products, and making it easier for farmers to improve their operations with the help of existing programs by cutting red tape and the cost.

Congressman Kind also says his colleagues should support granting dairy workers visas because of the role in the nation’s food supply and economy. Immigrants make up more than 40% of the dairy labor force in Wisconsin.

“Almost half of farm labor are immigrant-based. So we need to recognize that, the economic impact they have. Not just with dairy operations but overall in our state and nation’s economy. It’s something we all recognize is broken, our immigration policy, it’s in desperate need of a fix, it’s long past due,” said Kind.

Congressman Kind also wants to make it financially easier for young dairy farmers to start operations of their own.

The dairy industry has a more than $43-billion impact on the economy every year. It also brings in close to 79,000 jobs.