Two Dodge County dairy farmers say almost all of the Wisconsin farms impacted by the ongoing trade dispute with Canada have found new buyers for their milk, days before they faced shutting down.
Tony Senn, who owns Swiss Miss Farms near Fox Lake, said he and many other farmers signed a six-month contract Wednesday night with Dairy Farmers of America after the marketing cooperative sweetened its initial offer.
“We had a couple days left to find a home for all of our milk, so I opted to take this deal,” Senn said in an interview on his farm.
Grassland Dairy Products, Inc., told 58 Wisconsin farms and eight Minnesota farms on April 1st that it would no longer buy their milk starting May 1st. Grassland said its orders had been cut significantly because of a new Canadian policy that encourages processors to utilize Canada’s domestic milk supply instead of dairy products imported from the U.S.
Senn said he’d earn about $900 less per month under the Dairy Farmers of America deal than under his contract with Greenwood-based Grassland, but he said it’s enough to stay in business. Many of the nearly 70 impacted farmers have been contemplating dumping their milk or selling cows if they didn’t find a buyer.