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May 1st brought to a close a very long month of April for several dairy farmers. It marks the end of some of the longest weeks for these dairy farmers, as the dairy community rallied around to support these affected farmers and work to find a solution leading up to this market day deadline.

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative applauds the attention and drive that the industry has given to these affected dairy farmers, and has worked tirelessly to consider all solutions possible for these producers as the May 1st deadline drew near.

Among these organizations, FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative would like to thank the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and the Wisconsin Farm Center team for their hard work and assistance to these farmers in this time of crisis. They truly understand the value of Wisconsin’s dairy farmers, and no one fought harder for them. To Secretary Brancel and his team, we thank you.

Unfortunately, while the immediate crisis has been addressed for most, there have been farms that have made the incredibly hard decision to sell their cows. Not all were ready for retirement, and we wish them the very best as they transition into this new chapter of their lives.

Unfortunately, it should not have come to this so as an industry; producers, processors, legislators, promotional organizations and trade representatives, we need to do better. We need to seek long term solutions to address our industry’s challenges and work together when it is in the industry’s best interest.

Today marks the end of the first obstacle for these dairy producers. However, it’s only the beginning of the conversation taking place across industry organizations and the dairy processing community. While the conversation has many facets to it, it will focus on how we can protect dairy farmers from finding themselves in this situation again in the future.

Today, we are thankful for the temporary home that many of these affected producers found leading up to this day. Recently FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative visited our nation’s Capitol to advocate for meaningful reform when it comes to international trade agreements. Working with our industry partners, we will look to our industry to collaborate and create lasting solutions that will protect the livelihoods of these hard-working and dedicated dairy farm families.

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