The dairy industry — whether in Wisconsin, other U.S. states or internationally — faces new opportunities and challenges as it adapts to changing trends in milk production, genetics, processing, consumer demand and even trade agreements.
To help sort out these complex issues, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is hosting a symposium during this year’s World Dairy Expo featuring researchers from several top U.S. dairy states who will share their insights.
The free-of-charge symposium, titled “The Changing Landscape of Dairy: A Regional Report,” will be held Oct. 6 at 9 a.m. in Mendota Room 3 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis.
At the symposium, Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be joined by academic colleagues from major milk-producing states to report on regional production and processing capacities. Joining Stephenson for an in-depth analysis and panel discussion will be Andrew Novakovic, professor of agricultural economics at Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y.; and Christopher Wolf, professor of agriculture, food and resource economics at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich. Their comments, backed by extensive research, will focus on the current issues facing the dairy industry, and how those issues are impacting dairy farmers and processors.
Stephenson will discuss the changing landscape of milk production across the U.S. with a focus on large trends, from altering genetics in herds, to milk production increases beyond local capacity to process the milk in some regions, to contraction in others. These changes, says Stephenson, are revealing themselves in spatial milk prices.
Novakovic will summarize changes in both domestic and export demand for dairy products. These include insights into recent imbalances in fat and protein in dairy products. He also will discuss the implications of trade negotiations on export demands for U.S.-sourced products.
Wolf, who has been researching farm-level financial data, will present a summary of findings in different regions, sizes and business models on dairy farms. Wolf’s comments will also provide insights on the evolving competitiveness of the U.S. dairy industry.
“We are pleased to present the excellent research our panelists have conducted in order to better understand the current issues facing the dairy industry — from our farms through processing and into the consumer marketplace,” says Dan Smith, administrator of DATCP’s Division of Agricultural Development. “This is an important and informative seminar for anyone connected to the dairy industry. We are excited to present this important research, and we invite World Dairy Expo attendees to join us.”
There is no fee, beyond the admission cost to World Dairy Expo. Seating is on a first-come basis, and refreshments will be available.