Gov. Walker: Announces plan to grow Wisconsin dairy

Contact: Cullen Werwie, 608-267-7303

Gov. Walker: Announces plan to grow Wisconsin dairy

MADISON – Governor Walker announced today his plan to strengthen the Wisconsin’s dairy industry through the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30×20 program at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

“The goal of the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30×20 program is to improve the long-term viability of Wisconsin’s dairy industry through services to achieve an annual milk production of 30 billion pounds by 2020 to meet the growing demand of the marketplace,” said Governor Scott Walker. “In 2011, Wisconsin produced 26.1 billion pounds of milk, a growth of less than 1 percent. Our state’s dairy processors need more milk to keep up with the consumer demand from around the world for our award-winning cheeses. The Grow Wisconsin Dairy Team is prepared to assist dairy farmers to make that happen.”

At the announcement, the Governor outlined the new resources available for dairy farmers to increase profitability and create jobs. Dairy farmers will have access to a toll-free number of 855-WIDAIRY (855-943-2479 to connect with resources and services as well as Grow Wisconsin Dairy Grants to assist in planning, preparation and improving dairy profit.

DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel has led dairy discussions with industry leaders from across the state for months to develop this direction for the Grow Wisconsin Dairy Team and identify the needed resources. Organizations involved in the discussions included the: Dairy Business Association, Cooperative Network, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Wisconsin National Farmers Organization, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, Wisconsin Dairy Products Association, GrassWorks, Inc, UW-Extension, the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research and the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Profitability.

Wisconsin is home to over 11,000 dairy farms and 1.27 million milk cows. The average Wisconsin dairy cow generates more than $20,000 a year in economic activity, which circulates throughout local communities. The Wisconsin dairy industry has a $26.5 billion economic impact on our state and employs more than 146,000 people. Ninety-percent of Wisconsin’s milk is made into our state’s over 600 types, styles, and varieties of cheese. Wisconsin produces more cheese than any other state.

Following the elimination of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce in 2011 Wisconsin Act 32, dairy promotion and development activities that had operated under the program umbrella called Dairy 2020 transferred to DATCP. The Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30×20 program announced today will replace the Dairy 2020 program activities through this existing annual appropriate.

For more information on the Grow Wisconsin Dairy Team and their 30×20 program, use the toll-free number 855-WIDAIRY (855-943-2479 or email [email protected]