Newsmakers: Surviving the Recession – Farming
In a Newsmaker: Surviving Recession – Farming panel, four agricultural leaders summarized the challenges facing the $51-billion industry. Waterloo dairy farmer Bob Topel estimated that his farm is now losing about $1,000 per cow due to low milk prices – a problem echoed by John Umhoefer, executive director of the Cheese Makers Association. The picture is brighter for the state’s cranberry industry, which grows more than half of the world’s cranberries and exports 25% of them, said Tom Lochner, executive director of the State Cranberry Growers Association. Fifth generation Marquette County farmer and former state Agriculture Secretary Ben Bencel, however, said he remains optimistic overall.