Wisconsin’s organic farming industry reaches new heights


Wisconsin has a terribly long winters and has seen a decline in farms but increases elsewhere in the farming industry. The Wisconsin organic farming industry ranks 2nd in the nation behind California.

Wisconsin isn’t the first place one might think of to farm. But Wisconsin has grown in popularity among the industry for organic dairy farming.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports:

Wisconsin continues to have the second most certified organic farms in the country behind California.

With 1,205 organic farms, the state saw a slight decrease in the number of farms and acres operated in 2015, according to the latest report from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Nationally, the number of organic farms decreased by about 9 percent, while acres used for organic farming increased by almost 19 percent.

Harriet Behar, senior organic specialist at the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, said there is some consolidation of organic farms throughout the U.S., but what’s more common is landowners seeking out organic producers to rent their farmland.

“Because they themselves are organic consumers, and since they have an interest in some land and their heart is in having organic food, they seek out organic producers,” Behar said.

Wisconsin had the most organic dairy farms last year, with 439 farms producing about 370.7 million pounds of milk.

“There are people who come to Wisconsin, (and) they move from other regions specifically to do organic dairy,”┬áBehar said.

For more on this farming trend, visit Wisconsin Public Radio.