farming

Organic Farming Factor

Nov 16, 2010

Wisconsin is second only to California, in the number of organic farms operating in the state.

The numbers, though, are still fairly low.

Of Wisconsin’s 78,000 farms, less than two percent are managed organically.

As we continue Project Milwaukee: What’s on Our Plate?” WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence digs a little deeper into the variety and spirit among the state’s organic farmers.

Erin Toner

In 2009, milk prices dropped so low that dairy farmers lost up to half their income. Some had to slaughter their cows because they couldn’t afford to feed them anymore. Others decided enough was enough, and sold their animals and their land.WUWM’s Erin Toner visits a family near Slinger who made it through last year, but just barely.

Erin Toner

2009 was a make or break year for dairy farmers in Wisconsin. Milk prices dropped so low that most farmers had to go deeper into debt just to survive. Some lost so much money they had to sell their farms. Today, we begin a series profiling two dairy farming families in Wisconsin. Both managed to weather the worst year they can remember, and hope to stay in the business they love as long as they can.

Dairy farming has been a part of Wisconsin’s landscape for generations. A small fraction of those operations is organic. WUWM’s environmental reporter Susan Bence visited a couple committed to organic farming and to passing on their methods to the next generation.

This is the sound of 140 happy cows grazing a few miles outside Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

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