“Don’t it always seem to go
that you don’t know what you’ve got
’til it’s gone.
Pave paradise, put up a parking lot.”
This Joni Mitchell tune ran through my mind after reading Jeanne Carpenter’s post about the pending bankruptcies of dairy farmers. Carpenter echoed what I’d been hearing on National Public Radio and reading in Wisconsin papers. Wholesale milk prices are so low that dairy farmers are currently losing about $100 per cow every month. Carpenter’s contact at the WI Dept. of Agriculture worries that by spring of next year, WI will have 1000 fewer dairy farms. That should make prices rise, right? – competition and all that? Well, it’s a little more complicated, but you knew that already. Click on “Continue reading…” for my take on what’s going on.
Saturday Madison, WI saluted the dairy industry by inviting cows, dairy farmers, agricultural students, veterinarians, and cheese masters to the streets around Wisconsin’s state capital building. Children pet the cows as “Moo experts” from the dairy industry answered questions about raising cows, milking, WI’s artisanal cheeses, and WI’s reliance on the dairy industry for our state’s economic vitality.
Along with the information came a whole lot of fun on the capital concourse. Bands played music as kids played games. Families ate ice cream and grilled cheese sandwiches grilled right in the street. One of the more comical highlights was the ice cream eating contest. Two children, two dads, one dairy farmer, and the dairy queen of Belleville, Wisconsin competed to see who could eat a plate of ice cream the fastest (no hands; no utensils). Click on “Continue reading…” to see a video of the ice cream eating contest and more pictures of Wisconsinites playing with their food.