Yesterday, Governor Tony Evers and Agriculture Secretary Designee Randy Romanski were able to visit and tour Decatur Dairy in Brodhead, Wisconsin. Decatur Dairy was one of 15 recipients of the recent dairy processor grants from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
After touring the plant and sampling some delicious cheese, Governor Evers shared the importance of Wisconsin’s dairy processors and how he hopes this funding can help the dairy industry stay strong within our state. He emphasizes that this funding is to help processors, like Decatur Dairy, to help plan and expand for the future to support their customers, farmers and the industry. “We just want to make sure that we keep this industry healthy, we have great producers out there, great processors out there,” Evers said. He is hopeful that the state legislature can continue to do more to support Wisconsin dairy industry, and agriculture in Wisconsin as a whole.
Steve Stettler, master cheesemaker and owner of Decatur Dairy also shared how this grant will personally affect their plant going forward. In order to remain sustainable and continue to grow their business, most of their grant money will be used towards expansion, as well as research and development. “Even if it’s a small grant, it’s a big deal for us,” said Stettler, mentioning that any support for dairy processors makes a difference in planning for the future. These grants will allow processors to take advantage of new technologies, participate in label studies, sales studies or explore new products to continue staying relevant in the industry.
Fortunately, Stettler says that support continues for their business even through uncertain times. Demand for product has remained strong. They continue to see a constant flow of customers in the door almost everyday, as well as a growing market serving their large scale customers. The compliments on their product and continued demand leaves Stettler with a positive attitude for the future and “makes it all worth it,” he says.
As Wisconsin is the number one producer of cheese and is known as America’s Dairyland, it takes teamwork from the many dairy producers and processors around the state to keep the industry viable. It is great to see support from our state legislature for the dairy industry and agriculture in Wisconsin!