Organic/GMO farmer informs consumers

A former dairy farmer turned berry farmer says he has important insight for consumers about sustainability. Greg Zwald was on a recent Food Dialogues panel in Madison, Wisconsin, sponsored by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), “Occasionally, I hear criticisms of what I call conventional agriculture and I can share with them why farmers… Read more »

Rebuilding a Michigan dairy after disaster

A good insurance plan and the support of an entire community helped rebuild a Michigan dairy farm after a tornado ripped through this summer. Henk deVor tells Brownfield 80 percent of his 3,500 cow dairy was destroyed the same day construction was completed on a new freestall barn. “We built back in six months and… Read more »

Benefits of dairy foods at any age

The benefits of dairy foods can last a lifetime. Registered dietitian Dr. Teresa Wagner recently shared with farmers some of the most common questions she’s been asked about dairy products. She says milk is essential for growing strong bones and maintaining bone mass, which begins to deteriorate after age 35.  “You have to preserve that by… Read more »

Is the milk price cycle shifting?

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A dairy business specialist says current dairy market conditions are starting to shift traditional price cycles. Farm lender and Vita Plus Business Development Manager Gary Sipiorski tells Brownfield since 1983 when milk supports were eliminated, the dairy industry has averaged a three year price cycle of highs and lows.  “That’s when we started to see… Read more »

California dairy farmers face tough decisions

A lack of water resources and increased regulations have some California farmers transitioning to alternative crops. California dairy farmer Steve Maddox has diversified to better position his farm, breaking into almond and wine grape crops. As other dairy farmers in the West face tough times, he says more farmers are looking for new ways to… Read more »

Dairy market recovery could be a year away

A global dairy consultant says it could be a year before milk prices improve for farmers. French consultant Christophe Lafougere with GIRA tells Brownfield there are four main factors weighing on the global dairy markets. “One of them is the withdraw of China for buying whole milk powder, they’ve decreased by 50 percent in one year,… Read more »

Ceremonial signing of TPP

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U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and trade ministers from the 11 other countries in the Trans Pacific Partnership have signed the deal at a ceremony in New Zealand. But, the TPP agreement needs ratification in each country to go forward and it’s unlikely that will happen in the U.S. before the November elections. Froman says… Read more »

MMPA members recognized for quality

Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) members captured half of all National Dairy Quality Platinum Awards for 2015. Thirty-six farms from across the country were recognized with National Dairy Quality Awards. MMPA members took three platinum, four gold and five silver awards this year.  Farms are selected based on their milk quality measures, and overall herd… Read more »

Wisconsin farmer mentorship program coaches beginning graziers

Farmer mentorship programs are connecting seasoned farmers with new farmers getting started in the business. Robert Bauer with the Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development Council tells Brownfield their mentorship program helps new grass-based livestock farmers find land, and receive financial and farm coaching. “We’re building on those existing mentorship programs by bringing in the… Read more »

Farm tours improve consumer trust

Michigan State University Extension says people who attended Breakfast on the Farm events last year say they now have more trust in dairy farming. Animal Science Professor Ted Ferris says first time visitors to the farms had the largest increase in trust. “Their level of trust increased from 66 percent before to 96 percent after… Read more »