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Industry News

Read coverage of current events and news affecting dairy producers and the industry.

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Last week, Google searches, blogs and columns were buzzing about an Indiana dairyman who planned to use a gas mask, a boat and a Swiss Army knife to rid his manure lagoon of giant, 20-foot tall manure bubbles.

The manure bubbles were caused by a liner detaching from the lagoon's bottom. The producer, Tony Golstein of Winchester, Indiana, said he couldn't afford to repair the liner properly but thought he could pop the bubbles himself.

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Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney met with New York dairy producers this week to discuss the lack of competition and unfair milk prices.

The forum, held in Batavia, New York, drew about 200 people. Although Varney spent most of the meeting listening to about 25 dairy farmers and industry officials, she said her sector of the government was aware of the problem.

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A bill that would allow farmers to sell raw, unpasteurized milk directly to consumers has moved out of an Assembly committee. The Rural Economic Development Committee approved the bill 8-1. The move clears the way for a vote in the full Assembly.

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As the dairy industry suffered a huge economic blow in 2009, so did Wisconsin’s agriculture industry. Total receipts from the state’s farm marketings dropped by an estimated $1.8 billion (18 percent) in 2009, with nearly 80 percent of that decline resulting from much smaller milk checks. Coincidently, the equity of the state’s dairy industry also fell by $1.8 billion last year.

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During the Western Regional Dairy Challenge held in Twin Falls, Idaho on March 4-6, 50 students from five universities across the Western states were acquainted with a dairy and the problems that can come from family farming on a large scale.

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Due to the budget cuts, Michigan State University is scaling back some of its operations at the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station in the Upper Peninsula.

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