Rep. Smith talks about
celebrating June Dairy Month
A commentary by Rep. Stephen Smith of the 75th Assembly District.
While attending the 2013 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days - Barron Media Day, I had the pleasure to speak with the Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Ben Brancel.
It is always a pleasure to listen and learn from such a respected and knowledgeable public official, especially one who is part of a multigenerational farm right here in Wisconsin.
Over the course of the weekend I also met with several local farmers, and even spent a fun morning flipping pancakes at the Barron County Dairy Breakfast on the Chuck and Cathy Solum Farm in Rice Lake.
All of these experiences reminded me that agriculture, especially our dairy farmers, are such an important part of the economy and infrastructure here in Wisconsin. This is exactly the reason we honor these hard-working farmers with their own month of appreciation.
It is time to celebrate June Dairy Month here in Wisconsin. As dairy counts for almost half of the $59.5 billion of agricultural output here in Wisconsin, sitting at an impressive $26.5 billion annually, not only is dairy the single most important industry, but it is also the one that we are the best at.
Cheese from Wisconsin has won the Best Cheese category at the 2013 U.S. Cheese Championship, and taking 13 of the top 16 spots overall.
Wisconsin Cheese also won 95 awards at the 2012 World Cheese Championship, one third of all awards.
These are just a few of the reasons that we should proud of Wisconsin agriculture.
Not only can we be proud of our milk, cheese and other agricultural industries - we can also look at the success our state has at using our booming industry to help future generations and the planet.
By harnessing power through the use of manure and even cheese wastewater, such as the new $28 million project in Turtle Lake by GreenWhey Energy, we are using innovative strategies to build a renewable energy generation and create a sustainable business lifecycle from what was once a waste product.
From cows, to milk, to electricity, our dairy farmers are helping us become a world leader in many arenas.
So let us enjoy the beginning of summer and get outside to appreciate the natural beauty of our state while drinking an ice cold milk shake with some new friends.