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Dairy Fest aims to help farmers though pandemic and into the future

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Recently, dairy farmers have been faced with a new set of challenges that have many uncertain about the future of their products and industry.

"There's been extreme volatility," said Travis Marti a third generation dairy farmer. "The market has been up, the market has been down. There's been so many things that have effected the market especially with COVID."

Which is why the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin or PDPW, decided to proceed with this year's Dairy Fest.

"We thought it was important," said PDPW President Katy Schultz. "Our members were reaching out to us saying they needed that socialization again and they needed to feel that sense of community and being together."

The first of two Dairy Fest events this year took place Wednesday at Marti farms in Vesper.

The event gave those in attendance a chance to network, as well as listen to speakers touch on how to navigate the dairy industry in these unsure times.

"It was an honor to be able to be a host for this learning event," said Marti. "(I'm trying) to pick up some things of risk management and learn some things as well. It's a risky business, but we wanna just make it the least risky we can, so we can be here the next year farming and the next year after that."

"I think (people can benefit) with our panel discussions here tonight," said Schultz. "Especially (those) looking at how to mitigate throughout these turbulent economic times. What does that look like? Maybe not just for today and tomorrow, but next week, next year and the next five years and ten years."

So while times are tough now, it seems to be the way of a farmer to always be looking to a better brighter future.

"The farmer is the eternal optimist," said Schultz. "The corn will always grow, the cows will always produce milk. There is something inside of farmers that always gives us that drive. That drive to do better, that drive to be better, that drive to want to improve for the future generations."

The next Dairy Fest event will be held at Vision Aire Farms in Eldorado, Wednesday August 19.

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Alex Stewart

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