What you can do as farmers and consumers to help the Wisconsin dairy industry

Throughout the years, the dairy industry has faced and overcome many obstacles. Dating back to the milk strikes of 1933 across Wisconsin to today’s low milk prices and growing competition abroad, generations of resilient farmers continue to push forward but need our help.

As Wisconsin’s #1 farm insurer, Rural Mutual is committed to helping protect farmers. Our agents listen to their farm policyholders and follow dairy news closely. Here are a few ways we’ve seen passionate Wisconsin farmers and supporters rise above today’s challenges and spread awareness…

As a Wisconsin farm supporter and consumer…

Check on your neighbor and thank a farmer.

Reach out to your farm neighbors to see how they are doing by stopping by with a basket or dish to pass. During planting or harvest season when they work especially long days, let them know you’re thinking about them.

Attend a local farm breakfast with friends and family. Reach out or share your support on social media for a local farm.

Ask for help!

Know that it is okay to ask for help and talk about how you are feeling. There are not only people in the ag community that are here for you, but there are people going through the same hardships you are facing. Consider looking into these resources:

Get involved and share your voice!

Talk about it and share your voice. Stay up-to-date on things happening in the farming and dairy industry by getting involved with organizations like the Wisconsin Farm Bureau. Whether you join as a member, attended an event or engage with their social media, you can make a difference by advocating for our farmers.

Here are other associations to consider following or joining:

Consume dairy products.

Put your money where your mouth is and drink more milk or eat more Wisconsin cheese. Bring a dairy dish like a cheese tray or milk with cookies to your office or workplace for snack day to support our farmers.

Adopt a dairy cow or donate dairy products.

Visit the Second Harvest foodbank to learn more about their Adopt a Dairy Cow program. This program alone is on track to provide 70,000 gallons of healthy and nutritious milk to those facing hunger in southwestern Wisconsin in 2019.

On that note, consider purchasing and donating dairy products to your local food bank.

As a Wisconsin farmer…

Work with a Company that Pays a Dividend

To further protect Wisconsin agriculture, Rural Mutual established a first-of-its-kind Farm Dividend Program. Qualifying policyholders earn up to 5% back on their annual earned premium. Depending on the size of policy, this could be a hefty check. In past years, almost $2.8 million was paid out to Wisconsin farmers by Rural Mutual. 

Look into Dairy Revenue Protection

Our team of dairy certified insurance agents have partnered with American Farm Bureau Insurance Services to offer Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP). Dairy farmers select from two pricing options to insure against unexpected declines in quarterly revenue from milk sales. This extra layer of coverage makes all the difference when faced with plummeting milk prices and skyrocketing supply.

Consider adding additional income opportunities.

Industrial hemp production and agritourism are quickly becoming major opportunities for farmers to consider.

In 2018, the Federal Farm Bill fully legalized hemp growing in the United States. Wisconsin, like many states, has seen an increase in CBD stores due to its perceived all-natural health benefits. Hemp is the number one source of CBD oil (which cannot contain more than 0.3% THC).

Agritourism also is a growing source of income. In short, it’s the practice of charging money for the farm-life experience. Dairy farmers have opened bed and breakfasts, hosted herb sales, and some even created small stores within an old barn or even inside their home where they sell less traditional dairy products like milk soaps and lotions.

Together we keep Wisconsin Strong

We are in this together, farmers and consumers. Reach out a helping hand and show your support for our Wisconsin Farmers.

As Wisconsin’s #1 farm insurer, Rural Mutual is committed to helping and supporting our Wisconsin farmers. Talk to an agent today and follow us on Facebook to join the conversation.