Dairy Report: Declining Dairies, New Products and Labor Shortages

August 7, 2018 12:58 PM

The number of declining dairies in Wisconsin grew 4% in July with 44 dairies exiting the industry. While this is 10 fewer than June, 382 farms have called it quits so far this year compared to 283 farms at this time last year. As the number of dairies in the state continues to fall, 2018 may soon pass the 2017 year-end number of 465 dairies that sold out.

Graduate students at Kansas State’s Food Science Institute brought home top honors for their development of Quick Quark, a drinkable soft cheese product. Taking first at the National Dairy Council’s New Product Competition and winning $8,000, the product outstood competition from other colleges across America and Canada.

Quark is a soft cheese popular in many European countries. Students revamped the recipe to make the product more palatable for U.S. taste buds.

Job growth was less robust than expected in July. Unemployment rates stood at 3.9%, suggesting the economy is helping the labor market deal with trade policy tensions, allowing the federal government to potentially raise rates in September. However, some agricuture organizations say there is a greater labor shortage in every sector across rural America.

“There’s not a domestic supply of workers sitting on the sidelines to take care of these animals and create job growth and economic prosperity across rural America,” says Dustin Baker, Deputy Director of Economics for National Pork Producers Council. “We have to access an adequate supply of workers in order to continue to feed the world.”


To learn more about declining dairies in Wisconsin, read More than 4% of Wisconsin Dairy Farms Call It Quits in 2018—So Far




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