There are approximately 150,000 cows in Dane County. They reside on about 170 dairy farms, according to state records. That seems like a good amount of dairy farms, but recent trends are troubling.
According to statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, the state of Wisconsin lost 455 dairy farms in 2023.
The Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin note that our state is No. 2 in the nation in milk production and produces half of the state’s $104.8 billion agricultural economy.
There are a variety of things one can do to support our local farmers:
- Visit one.
- Purchase your dairy from grocery stores that purchase locally, such as Metro Market, Willy Street Co-Op, and Woodman’s Food Market.
- Experience a local dairy event like an annual dairy breakfast.
- Join or support organizations that support dairy farmers, such as the FFA and 4-H.
- Eat a lot of cheese.