Dear Speaker Paul Ryan,
The families and farms in these photos have been forgotten.
On Monday, 75 Wisconsin family farms received a letter from Grassland Dairy Products Inc, informing them that at the end of this month, Grassland will no longer be able to purchase the milk from their farms. The farms affected by this change have less than 30 days to find a new buyer for their milk. This will be very difficult for most and impossible for many.
Unfortunately, this letter will force many of these family businesses to sell their cows and cease dairy farming. The exact number remains to be seen. As you know, the loss of farms has a cascading effect on businesses throughout local communities and our state.
Grassland’s letter explains that the company must cut the amount of milk they take in each day due to the loss of a significant portion of their business when Canada suddenly stopped allowing their product to be imported on April 1, 2017. Our Wisconsin family farms and small businesses, as well as agriculture communities across the country, cannot afford to wait on partisan lines or lengthy, unproductive debates that disrupt trade agreements, which are critical to already volatile markets.
I am asking you to please, remember these families, these farms who have been forgotten. Put aside the partisan politics and work across the aisle to ensure these family farms and countless others across the country — who could soon be in this same position — have not, yet, reached the final chapter of their story.
Proud Wisconsin Dairy Farmer and Agriculture Advocate.