What We Are Reading: Dairy Special Edition: 04/21/2017

I am surprised at how many of our readers have responded to our posts on Wisconsin family dairy farms. And a number of you shared articles that you found about farming so I am going to share them here today. Thank you to our loyal readers and subscribers for your support and keeping the dialogues going!

This Wisconsin dairy farmer knows what wages sent to Mexico can do : In the late 1990s, John Rosenow was expanding his dairy in Cochrane, Wisconsin. He struggled to find workers to fill positions on the farm as he went from milking 50 cows to more than 500. Other farmers had turned to immigrant labor from Mexico. Rosenow wasn’t interested. “Diversity for us was whether you were Polish or Norwegian or you were Catholic or Protestant,” he said. “And so to bring somebody in from a different country, who spoke a different language — boy that’s something we just didn’t want to do.” But eventually he ran out of options. Rosenow called a farm labor staffing service in Texas, which sent him a worker from Mexico.

This one is a little dated but worth remembering:

Hidden camera captures animal abuse at another Wisconsin dairy farm : The video captured with a hidden camera shows how workers treat animals at the Andrus Dairy in Birnamwood, Wisconsin.
The employees can be seen kicking and punching cows, using high pressured water hoses to spray them in the face and dragging them by their necks with ropes attached to tractors.

That’s a Whole Lot of Manure : Owners of a proposed factory farm in Wood County who have contributed more than $75,000 to legislative and statewide candidates may challenge a recent state appeals court ruling that puts the future of the controversial mega-farm in question. The decision involves the Wysocki Family of Companies, which wants to build Golden Sands Dairy, a factory farm that would hold up to 5,300 cows and produce an estimated 55 million gallons of manure a year. The farm would require about 4,600 acres of red pine forest to be logged, and it would use 32 high-capacity wells for irrigation. The contentious wells, which have been blamed for shrinking lakes and streams around the state during summer, would supply the farm with up to 2 billion gallons of water to use each year. [Ed: emphasis mine]


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1 thought on “What We Are Reading: Dairy Special Edition: 04/21/2017

  1. Most of us are decendants of immigrants who built this nation with cheap labor. Today, immigrant labor is still significant at all levels of the economy– especially in food production. Fast paced assembly of pizzas at a local pizza plant, food preparation at many restaurants, long days of labor at Wisconsin’s dairy farms, production of meat beginning with the “kill” floor of a slaughterhouse and all the after-processing to supply the carnivoirs, field labor to pick and process fruits and vegetables…and the list goes on and on. Apparently the zenophobes and Trumpsters who are pushing for expulsion of many immigrants don’t realize how much of our food is dependent on hard working immigrants– especially in the dairy industry of Wisconsin. Then the final blow will be the proposed “border tax” which will also affect the huge amount of imported food. Have you read the labels on veggie and fruit so readily available now at reasonable cost? Building “The Wall” and the “border tax” will affect us greatly. Tighten your belts (and your wallets)– you’l feel the effect of this madness.

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