His neighbor had a saying: “Farmers who encourage their children to farm could be charged with child abuse. It’s condemning them to a future where there is no certainty that they could even make a living,” Jim Goodman said.
Goodman, at 66 is the last in a line of dairy farmers that dates back to 1889. He’s sold his herd and the land where they grazed, and his children have chosen other careers.
Goodman adds a human story to what is becoming a new narrative juxtaposed against the old one: Wisconsin, self-proclaimed “America’s Dairyland ” is losing its key industry to outside forces.
The milk industry’s woes have been a long time in the making and no single factor accounts for them, reports The Guardian.
Collapsing prices, the rise of mega farms in warmer states such as Texas and Arizona, the increasingly international trade in dry milk products like whey protein, Trump’s tariffs, the fluctuations in international trade and shifting consumer habits have all played a part and lead to a number of bankruptcies.
The outlet reports that, “the decline has changed the landscape of rural Wisconsin. Schools and small businesses have collapsed, taking the rural communities with them.”
Read more about Wisconsin’s dairy crisis here.
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