A Dairy Farmer calls for Transition Programs

A Wisconsin farmer working with AFA recently wrote a letter to his Representative in D.C. – here it is:


I’m a dairy farmer in your district. I’m writing to ask for you to support the creation of a program to assist farmers in transition to different lines of production, especially climate-healing crop production.

There are many farmers in the area like me who want to diversify into growing perennial or woody crops in order to build soil, store carbon, and create additional income streams to stabilize our businesses financially.

I’ve been talking with an organization called Agriculture Fairness Alliance that is lobbying to create such a program. They have consulted with me and understand my situation. I urge you to work with AFA to create this.

Farmers around the country should be given the opportunity to diversify into production activities that, in and of themselves, are in harmony with the environment, all while stabilizing finances by selling into growing markets like popular plant-based alternative-protein markets. A transition program would be a better, more permanent solution than the current insurance programs and one-time payments that we currently get. 

I’ve been working with the Savanna Institute whose goal is to create perennial agriculture infrastructure to boost the economy, improve soil health, and sequester carbon.

As a dairy farmer, I would much rather get funding to transition to something better than get funding to keep producing milk for a market that already has a surplus. I would feel better knowing I’m producing something in high demand that’s also benefiting the environment.

You can see a video of a fellow Wisconsin dairy farmer, Paul, who is in a very similar situation as me. He’s interested in a transition program too, so he’ll have a thriving farm to leave to his kids: 



A Wisconsin Dairy Farmer

Note: We have removed this farmer’s name for privacy considerations.