MAURICE, Iowa (KTIV) – Local dairy farmers say there are challenges facing the industry, but they are hopeful for the future.
“Each cow in Iowa has over a $23,000 economic impact which means that every cow generates $23,000 of economic growth in Iowa,” said Eric VanWyk, General Manager of Dykstra Dairy.
Dairy farmers say their industry has a major impact on the Iowa economy.
They also say the industry creates a lot of jobs for Iowans.
“For every 10 cows there is in Iowa, that creates one job, whether that be on a milk processing plant making, an ice cream processing plant may be in an equipment dealer, a seed company, but it has a very huge impact in Iowa,” said VanWyk.
But farmers say keeping those positions filled can be a challenge.
“Sourcing enough reliable labor, trained and skilled workers has been our biggest shortfall in the last five years,” said dairy farmer Evan Metzger.
The labor force isn’t the only issue Siouxland dairy farmers say they’re running into.
They add recent tariffs have had an impact on them.
“I know we had some of the problems with the tariffs in Mexico. Mexico quit buying some of the dairy products,” said VanWyk. “Definitely, when some of those tariffs were lifted, I know that helped rebound prices so tariffs do have an impact of dairy, as well.”
But in spite of the recent challenges, farmers say there’s a lot to look forward to.
“The dairy future does look very positive at this time. A lot of the trend lines look like it’s going to be positive growth,” said VanWyk.