Agricultural expert brings awareness to the dairy crisis in Portage Co.

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WAOW) — The Stevens Point Kiwanis Club held a meeting on Tuesday, hosting agricultural expert Ken Schroeder to discuss the ongoing dairy crisis. 

Not only bringing awareness to the issue, Schroeder discussed possible solutions to the Kiwanis club as well to combat the issue in Portage County.

“The dairy industry is a big part of the economy in Wisconsin,” UW-Extension Agricultural Agent  Ken Schroeder said. “However, they’re under a lot of stress right now trying to hold on. Trying to hold on to the farm. In some cases that have been in the family for generations.”

He said the ongoing statewide decline in the industry is causing farmers to go out of business, and herds are being lost by a rate of two per day. He also said farmers are having a hard time meeting the cost of production.

“We really need to build that back up and support the dairy industry, so that dairy farmers can do well and maintain,” Schroeder stated. “We are under about 8,000 dairy herds and we started out in 2015 with about 10,000.”

Potential solutions included ways to support dairy farmers, along with targeting the industry’s youth.

“Using dairy products, buying dairy products, but even so if you know a farmer or dairy farmer thank them,” Schroeder said. “Tell them you appreciate what they’re doing and you appreciate their efforts.”

“The primary part might be with children farmers who are in school systems,” Kiwanis Club President Marvin Van Kekerix said. “Trying to reach out in particular to them and find what some of their needs are, and then try to provide service to them.”

Ken Schroeder and Marvin Van Kekerix said they hope to continue efforts moving forward, to work with the community in combating the crisis.

Rashad Williams

Rashad Williams

News 9 Reporter

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