WISCONSIN — Wisconsin dairy farmers are no longer required to pay for the sale of milk, dairy products or cream.
Wisconsin dairy farms now are Dairy Free.
Dairy Queen has moved to a location a few miles from the Wisconsin Capitol where it still sells milk and dairy products.
Milk is still required, but the state’s dairy commission is now looking at moving it to a facility closer to the Capitol where customers can order milk directly from the farmer, or from the farmers closest to the capitol.
Dairy Free is a designation the state allows businesses that do not sell milk, milk products or dairy to be able to pay only $1.75 a gallon on their milk, according to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.DCA, the state dairy group, has been selling milk and other dairy products since the beginning of the year, and said the move to move to the closest location would reduce the number of visits it gets from customers.
Milwaukee’s Dairy Queen now sells milk in the Wisconsin Capital.
It sells its milk to the state at $1 a gallon, which is $3.50 lower than its former price.
Dairy Free also is no longer available at Dairy Queen in Madison, the city where the chain was founded.
The company was founded in Wisconsin in 1919, and it is still owned by one family that owns the Dairy Queen restaurant chain.
Milestone dairy farms:Wisconsin’s dairy farms were among the first to be shuttered when the state passed legislation to make them dairy free in 2014.
It has since become increasingly common for farms to shut down as well, with the number more than doubling in the last five years, according the Wisconsin Farm Bureau.
The state Dairy Commission, the group that oversees the dairy industry, says the move is a way for dairy farmers to be more cost effective with their operations.
The move does not change how dairy products are sold, the commission said.
Milken Institute economist John Ruhlen said Wisconsin farmers have a variety of options to supplement their income, but that the change to dairy free would save them money.
It will make it easier for the dairy farms to sell their milk at a reasonable price, Ruhren said.
The price of milk is set by the dairy commission and not the customer, so there’s a price-to-value relationship.
The move will give Wisconsin farmers the flexibility to sell to consumers that they may have been unwilling to do previously, Rumblen said.