Area dairy farmers react to trade deal

WISCONSIN (WAOW) — The United States, Canada and Mexico have come to a new trade agreement and it could have an impact on Wisconsin dairy farmers.

“Dairy was a deal-breaker,” said President Donald Trump in a press conference Monday.

Those were welcome words to hear for a struggling industry in the badger state.

“It hasn’t been easy,” said Ringle dairy farmer James Juedes. “We have been in a constant downward spiral.”

Dairy prices have been on the decline, in part because of a program that allows low priced dairy ingredients to undersell United States dairy sales in Canada and in third country markets. That program will be eliminated in the new agreement.

“It definitely is a plus for us, as far as where our milk can go, and we hope higher prices for us will be on the horizon,” said Juedes.

The agreement opens the Canadian dairy market to American farmers and eliminates some tariffs.

“Obviously, it’s a good thing,” said Juedes. “Going without any type of trade agreement like that has been just an absolute killer for us in the dairy industry, especially here in the upper Midwest and Wisconsin.”

Governor Walker weighed in on the agreement, releasing a statement that called it a big win for Wisconsin Dairy farmers.

Juedes said it’s still too early to tell exactly what impact it will have, but he believes it’s a positive step forward. The next big hurdle for dairy farmers is the Farm Bill.

Courtney Terlecki

Courtney Terlecki

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