Wis. Farm Bureau Federation: Endorses Dairy 30×20 Initiative

Contact: Casey Langan, Executive Director of Public Relations, 608.828.5711

MADISON – The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation enthusiastically endorses the Dairy 30×20 Initiative that was announced today by Governor Scott Walker in Madison.

“A growing business is a healthy business and therefore we are very pleased with Governor Walker’s commitment to grow Wisconsin’s dairy industry,” said Bill Bruins, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President.

Bruins, a dairy farmer from Fond du Lac County who served on the task force that developed the Dairy 30×20 Initiative, noted the importance farmers, processors and supporting agribusinesses capturing value-added market opportunities. He also said the goal of increasing Wisconsin’s annual milk production to 30 billion pounds by the year 2020 is realistic by a combination of increasing productivity within Wisconsin’s current milking herd and by adding cows.

In 2011, Wisconsin’s herd of 1.26 million milk cows produced 26.1 billion pounds of milk.

“With 2 percent annual growth, we would add 500 million pounds of milk per year,” he said. “This could be accomplished by adding 25,000 cows with a 20,000 pound herd average.”

“When you consider that each milk cow generates $20,000 in annual economic activity, the addition of 25,000 cows will create $5 billion in additional economic activity for America’s Dairyland,” Bruins said.

“It is vital that all players in the dairy industry and state government are laser-focused on reaching the initiative’s goal of 30 billion pounds of milk by the year 2020,” said Bruins. “This includes the UW-Extension, UW-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and all other universities and technical colleges, our state Legislature, and state agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Transportation.”