Wisconsin Farmers Struggle in the Midst of a Crippling Dairy Crisis

Since late 2014, the U.S dairy industry has been struggling through a fully-fledged economic crisis. Driven primarily by dwindling export markets and overproduction here at home, the plummeting value of milk and dairy products in the United States has left farmers bewildered- and struggling to keep themselves and their financial futures above water.

California, the nation’s largest producer of dairy, currently loses around one dairy farm per week to bankruptcy. Wisconsin, the second second most prolific dairy producer in the country, has been experiencing an even sharper downturn. Recent estimates show that Wisconsin is currently losing about two farms every day.

Data suggests that in 2018 alone this region lost nearly 700 dairy farms. These trends have left many farmers concerned about the future. As a result, many dairy farmers are turning to ranch refi programs and other lending options that can help them stay afloat.

The Dairy Capital of America

For generations, Wisconsin has been dubbed “America’s Dairyland”, a pseudonym which stems from the region’s prodigious dairy output as well as to the extent to which the local economy depends on the industry. Just think of Wisconsin license plates – which are popularly imprinted with the phrase “America’s Dairyland – or the foam wedges of cheddar cheese that are donned by Green Bay Packers fans, and you can begin to get a sense of the role that the dairy industry has played in Wisconsin’s commercial, economic, and cultural vitality.

The dairy crisis, now in its fifth consecutive year, is changing all of that. The dairy industry is in a state of rapid decline, and it is pulling “America’s Dairyland” down with it.

Coping with Change in Dairyland

The declining prices of milk have left many dairy farmers in Wisconsin without many viable options. Many have chosen suicide over complete insolvency and humiliation. Support groups – like the Wisconsin Farm Center (itself a subsidiary of the DATCP) have been established to provide technical, legal, and financial assistance to struggling farmers. (If you or a neighbor has been struggling to cope with the changes afflicting Wisconsin’s dairy industry, you can call the Farm Center toll-free at 1-800-942-2474.)

Another option that has helped ranchers find some financial stability is ag lending. Companies like Ag America can help farmers obtain funds through ranch refinancing programs and other forms of farm lending.

Protect Your Property with a Ranch Refi

You can protect your financial future by securing a ranch refi, and MSF Agriculture can help you every step of the way. Contact us today to get started!