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black and white dairy cow s head

Photo by Jan Koetsier on Pexels.com

There’s no better way to start the weekend with a hearty breakfast. Whether you like to whip up a batch of flapjacks, throw in a quiche or prefer to stick with a bowl of cereal, you’ll notice that all of these meals have one ingredient in common – milk.

This Saturday is National Milk Day. Why was January 11 selected as the day to recognize one of America’s most nutritious beverages? Some believe this date was when the first milk deliveries in glass bottles first began in the United States.

In honor of the calcium-rich holiday, we thought now would be the perfect time to highlight the current struggles of Wisconsin dairy farmers. If you are an avid consumer of current events, you know that small family farms have faced several economic obstacles in the past few years. We’ll explain the challenges as well as ways for you to support these local farms.

In 2019, several stumbling blocks were thrown to our state’s farmers. Family farms struggled with extreme weather conditions, international tariffs, low prices, among other hardships. Some dealt with small profits, while others had to make life-changing decisions. According to the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Wisconsin lost nearly 775 dairy farms in 2019, following significant losses in 2017 and 2018.

Fortunately, outlooks look promising in the new year, but if we want to maintain our status as “America’s Dairyland,” we should do all that we can to support our neighborhood farmers. Below you’ll find a list of ideas for inspiration:

  1. Take a dairy farm tour

    You may be surprised to learn that many farmers are happy give tours of their facilities, allowing many of us to see a world we might not usually see. And, providing tours may also the farmer a secondary source of income. The easiest way to learn if tours are available is to ask.

  2. Talk with area restaurants about using local dairy products

    Restaurant owners are always looking for new ways to provide delicious food to the customers they serve. If you love a dairy farm in your area, be sure to talk with the owner about stocking their products. After all, good food starts with quality ingredients.

  3. Encourage others to buy their foods locally

    There are dozens of benefits to shopping and buying local, including consuming healthier food, reducing your carbon footprint and keeping more money within your local economy. Learn about all of the advantages of buying local food products, and persuade others to do the same.

As you pour your milk while making breakfast on Saturday, don’t forget about the Wisconsin dairy farms that help you provide for your family. Let’s all work together to support some of our state’s hardest working individuals.

From the Lions Pride Board and Staff, we’d like to extend a special message of gratitude to our Wisconsin dairy farmers. We have the utmost appreciation for your hard work and dedication to our state’s agriculture. Thank you, farmers!

black and white dairy cow s head