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What is the Future of Wisconsin's Moderate-Scale Dairy Farm
Staff Paper Series No. 1, June 1998
by Bradford Barham

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I am honored to be asked to explore an issue that is of critical importance to the future of Wisconsin farm families, rural communities, and the vitality of the overall agricultural sector in Wisconsin. I hope my remarks will move the discussion closer to what is actually happening in Wisconsin’s dairy industry. I’ll focus on the dairy industry because that is where the majority of the economic activity is in Wisconsin agriculture. The dairy sector comprises about 60 percent of the state’s agricultural sector, in terms of production, and in fact many of the other sectors (grains and beef) rely on or are connected to dairy. The big question I will address is: what is the future of Wisconsin’s traditional midsized family farms?

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