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Tuesday Speaker
Rick Barrett & Maryann Lazarski, Creators of the Documentary, “America’s Dairyland at the Crossroads”
Memorial Hall
November 16, 2021 @ 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

There is no more quintessential image of Wisconsin than a red barn with a herd of cows grazing in a green field against a blue sky. The state’s dairy history is an essential part of the state’s culture and an economic engine that generates $45 billion a year, much of that sustaining Main Streets in rural Wisconsin. But it continues to be at risk. Why? That’s the question Milwaukee PBS producers examine in a new, hour-long documentary “America’s Dairyland at the Crossroads.” 

The numbers are staggering: Since 2000, Wisconsin has lost 71% of its dairy farms. Most of those were small to medium, multi-generation family operations.  We’re witnessing a tectonic shift in this industry. Dairy farmers are at the crossroads of adapting or calling it quits. And how does that impact communities and consumers?

The documentary is produced in partnership with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with support  from PBS Frontline and the Pulitzer Center. Milwaukee PBS Producer Maryann Lazarski and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel business reporter Rick Barrett will discuss their work that included a look at how COVID impacted dairy farmers as well as the production of this film.