World Dairy Expo is quickly approaching, and it is no coincidence that this premier dairy event is hosted in America's Dairyland. During World Dairy Expo, Oct. 2-6, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will encourage visitors to choose Wisconsin as the place to dairy and do business.
"Wisconsin is known for its dairy farms, equipment, processors, dairy-focused universities and trade schools, support services, marketers and technology," said DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel. "There is a demand for fresh, high-quality milk for Wisconsin's dairy processing industry, and DATCP continues to work to provide the support needed to retain and recruit dairy farmers to our state."
Wisconsin is home to 1.27 million dairy cows on over 11,000 farms, more dairy farms than any other state in the nation. The dairy industry contributes $26.5 billion to the state's economy annually and employs more than 146,000 people.
In 2011, Wisconsin's dairy cows produced 26.1 billion pounds of milk, much of which is used to make the state's award-winning cheeses. Wisconsin produces more cheese than any other state with over 600 types, styles and varieties.
Earlier this year, Gov. Scott Walker announced the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Initiative as a commitment to the long-term viability of Wisconsin's dairy industry. By offering services and resources to help dairy farmers increase profitability, Wisconsin will, in turn, be able to achieve an annual milk production of 30 billion pounds by 2020 to meet the growing demand of the marketplace. Currently, Wisconsin dairy farmers only produce approximately 90% of the milk volume needed by the state's dairy processors.
"Wisconsin's dairy infrastructure is the strongest in the nation with a large number of dairy resources, services, and consultants available for each phase of a dairy operation," added Brancel. "The Dairy 30x20 Initiative provides dairy farmers one contact to call to connect with assistance that will allow them to be profitable and make decisions that are best for the individual operation."
All dairy farmers, regardless of size or type, are encouraged to use the toll-free number (855-WI DAIRY or 855-943-2479) and email address (GrowWisconsinDairy@wi.gov). Visitors to World Dairy Expo can meet staff in the Exhibition Hall, Booth 4421.
"I encourage World Dairy Expo attendees to visit the DATCP booth to learn more about resources available for Wisconsin dairy farmers," concluded Brancel. "From those interested in relocating to the state to those who are looking to diversify their operation, the Grow Wisconsin Dairy team is available to assist."