Baldwin visits Yellowstone Cheese, highlights new dairy initiatives

CADOTT, Wis. (WEAU) -- Senator Tammy Baldwin was in Cadott Tuesday highlighting her new dairy initiatives.

Baldwin visited Yellowstone Cheese in Cadott to tour their business and meet with company leadership and workers.

She also highlighted her dairy business innovation initiatives program, which she says helps dairy businesses add value to their products and reach new markets.

“It's a really tough time right now,” said Baldwin. “We've seen 1700 dairy farms close in just the last 3 years. There's a real recognition on how hard our U.S. agricultural sector has been hit by the trade wars.”

She says the way to stay in business when these challenges arise is to innovate.

“It can be entirely new products that don't exist today,” said Baldwin. “It can be new packaging and new marketing, extending the shelf life of certain types of cheeses.”

Those involved in the dairy industry were able to voice their concerns to the senator.

Ag agent with UW-Extension, Jerry Clark, says new programs and funding are always a help to local farmers.

“Anytime we can have these kinds of programs to help farmers and get that support in the dairy industry, t can just help move more milk,” said Clark.

He says other products like plant-based milk have been impacting the dairy market.

Baldwin says she hopes newly approved funding will help make a positive change for dairy farmers.

“I was able to champion a major increase in funding for next years,” said Baldwin. “It'll go from 2 million to 20 million dollars.

That recently secured $20 million in federal funding is an increase of $18 million from the previous fiscal year, to help dairy farmers and cheesemakers like Yellowstone develop new products and expand markets.