VERNON COUNTY, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Dairy farmers of Wisconsin say the dairy industry generates more than 45 billion dollars per year, but farmers in Vernon County say struggle with labor and supply chain backups are creating hardships.
First News at Nine’s Alex Loroff takes us to the Hamburg Hills Farm, where Governor Tony Evers heard about those difficulties first-hand.
For Zach Servais of Vernon County’s Hamburg Hills Farm, it’s the only profession he could ever see himself doing.
“I don’t know what else I could do if I couldn’t farm, I mean I love being outside, I love being around the animals,” Servais described. “I mean you don’t really get to set your own hours, but I love being able to just walk into my house in the middle of the day if need be.”
Despite the love he has for dairy farming, Servais does have concerns about the long-term future of the industry.
“The last five years with the supply glut that we’ve had and the prices fluctuating all over the place really makes a guy nervous,” Servais expressed.
Governor Tony Evers stopped by the Hamburg Hills Farm Wednesday to hear some of those concerns for himself.
Evers says dairy farmers continue to face difficulties with labor shortages and inadequate health insurance.
He adds that more work needs to be done to create more markets for farmers to utilize, and he believes there are people on both sides of the political aisle who are in favor of that.
“There seems to be some good bipartisan support around that,” Evers said. “I think we have to search the globe to make sure that we have markets, and searching the globe is not something that can be done on the cheap.”
Evers also says improved broadband access is critical for the growth of farming operations and rural communities.
“Whether it’s this farm or the people in Stoddard or any place in rural Wisconsin, we know that in order to survive in this economy, whether it’s farming or other businesses in rural Wisconsin, we have to have broadband,” Evers detailed.
Evers believes assisting the state’s farmers and expanding broadband should be items that receive bipartisan support no matter what.
In Vernon County, Alex Loroff, First News at Nine.
Evers is also commending farmers for their efforts during the pandemic, saying the more the state opens back up, the dairy industry will grow even stronger.