STRATFORD, Wis (WSAW) -- Dozens of people in Wisconsin are talking about the current status of Wisconsin agriculture and the future for the rural communities. For one week, four family-owned farms across the state will open their doors to the community as part of the 2019 ACE On-the-Farm Twilight Meetings.
“We meet regularly with our partners of Wisconsin Counties Association and Wisconsin Towns Association, but once a year we do a series of these meetings across Wisconsin,” explained Shelly Mayer who is the Executive Director of Professional Dairy Producers. “We think it's really important that dairy farmers are at the table especially as others are talking about what they want the community to look like.”
The public meetings are focused on key issues like water quality, community development, resource management and changes in agriculture as well as rural communities.
Many farmers across the county are having a challenging year with finances but the farmers attending these meetings tell NewsChannel 7 they're optimistic regarding the future of Wisconsin agriculture.
"The cost is very high for milking cows and feeding cows. Labor cost is also very high,” added Jim Leick, Co-Owner of Night Hawk Dairy Farm in Stratford. “There are a lot of challenges but farmers do it because they love it.”
Organizers hope to gather feedback from these meetings across the state and then take their findings to lawmakers so hopefully, there will be a positive change in the communities that need it most.