Contact: Scott Fitzgerald, 608-266-5660
Earlier this month, Grassland Dairy Products announced that the company would be terminating their contracts with 74 Wisconsin farms in 30 days’ time due to an ongoing trade dispute with Canada that would significantly reduce their processing capacity.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald released the following statement urging Wisconsin farmers to contact the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Farm Center for assistance as the situation progresses:
“I was shocked to hear that dozens of Wisconsin’s hard working dairy farmers could be forced out of business because of a trade dispute taking place outside our state. This crisis will come as a huge blow not only to these individual farmers, but to our dairy industry, and to Wisconsin as a whole.
Many of the affected farms are located within my senate district and have certainly already been deeply impacted by this dire situation. Some have already reached out to my office or to DATCP in the days since receiving contract termination letters. As we work to manage this crisis, I want to ensure that all of my constituents are aware of any and all resources that are available to them, and I want to urge anyone impacted to reach out to my office and to the DATCP Farm Center.
As this situation progresses, I will continue to maintain close communication with the Governor’s office, DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel, and Wisconsin’s representatives at the federal level and will closely monitor any developments. We know how critical this situation is for a huge number of Wisconsin families and we are determined to discover any avenue available to the state to assist these farmers and others impacted within the agriculture community.”
DATCP is currently offering a number of resources for those affected by this situation, including those who have lost a processor. Services include financial and business consultation, farm succession planning, farm ownership transition planning, conflict mediation, production challenges, legal and financial mediation, and other assistance. Professional and confidential services offered through the Farm Center are provided at no cost. You can get in touch with the Farm Center through the toll-free line at 1-800-942-2474.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) represents the 13th Senate District, which covers portions of Dodge, Jefferson, Waukesha, Washington, Dane, and Columbia counties.