State Agriculture Leaders Push To Boost Dairy Production

Some of the state’s agriculture leaders are pushing a plan aiming to boost dairy production in Wisconsin.

The idea outlined Tuesday by Gov. Scott Walker, called “Dairy 30×20 Initiative,” would would provide more milk to cheesemakers, who only get about 90 percent of their milk from Wisconsin farmers.

“The goal … 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,” Walker said in a news release.

The governor provided $200,000 to the program in the state budget.

Wisconsin is home to more than 11,000 dairy farms and 1.27 million milk cows. According to the governor’s office, the average Wisconsin dairy cow generates more than $20,000 a year in economic activity, which circulates throughout local communities.

The state;s dairy industry has a $26.5 billion economic impact on the state and employs more than 146,000 people, according to the governor’s office.

Officials with the state Department of Agriculture plans to set up a toll-free number for farmers to call to find assistance.