International Immigration Into the Wisconsin Dairy Industry: Opportunities And Constraints“If you want to be big or small, in Wisconsin you can do it all!”Johannes Lieuwe Brolsma 1 Department of Rural Sociology 2University of Wisconsin – Madison 420 Agriculture Hall 1450 Linden Drive Madison, WI 53706 USA 1 Visiting research scholar from the University of Wageningen, the Netherlands (bachelor degree in DairyScience and a Masters degree in Business and Consumer Studies) to the Department of Rural Sociology,College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison during the period February –August 2004.2. Johannes Brolsma worked under the supervision of Dr. Pete Nowak, Professor, Department of RuralSociology, and received guidance and information from Case Dorresteyn, proprietor of New HorizonsAgriculture, Inc, a dairy consultancy based out of Madison, WI .i
AcknowledgementsJohannes Brolsma came to Madison to pursue this immigrant dairy farmerproject based on the efforts of Case Dorresteijn, New HorizonsAgriculture, LLC (Madison, WI) and Karen Nielsen, Associate Director,Babcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development.Theprofessional activities of Mr. Brolsma were under the supervision of PeteNowak, Professor in the Department of Rural Sociology, College ofAgriculture and Life Sciences of the University of Wisconsin-Madisoncampus. Financial support for Mr. Brolsma’s travel and living expenseswhile investigating this topic was based on the generous support providedfour sponsoring companies; Boumatic, ABS Global, Westfalia Surge andM&I Bank. The report was prepared for publication based on theprofessional skills of Roger Schmidt, Senior Information ProcessingConsultant of the Nutrient and Pest Management Program of theUniversity of Wisconsin Extension.Table of ContentsExecutive Summary …………………………………………………………. iiiIntroduction …………………………………………………………………… 1Methodology ………………………………………………………………….. 2Farm Characteristics ………………………………………………………… 3Opportunities …………………………………………………………………. 4Constraints ……………………………………………………………………. 10Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………. 15References ……………………………………………………………………. 16ii
Executive SummaryThe Wisconsin dairy industry, a vital component of the state’s economy, also plays an integraldimension to the state’s resource management due to the diversity of crop production. Moreover, itmakes an immeasurable contribution to the aesthetic beauty of the state and the resulting tourism industry.The importance of keeping the dairy industry viable in Wisconsin should be evident to all. Yet recenttrends illustrate a continuing decline in the number of dairy cows, dairy farms, and the private sectorindustries that support this vital sector of our economy.A number of policies and programs have been put in place to help maintain the viability of theWisconsin dairy industry in competitive world markets. One strategy that has not received significantresources, however, is the process of increasing the number of dairy farms entering into the dairybusiness. Federal, state and university programs have been developed to assist largely young, residentindividuals who want to enter Wisconsin’s dairy industry. These include efforts such as the WisconsinSchool for Beginning Dairy Farmers (UW-CALS), Beginning Farmer Bond (Wisconsin Housing andEconomic Development Authority), farm ownership or farm operating loans for beginning farmers(USDA Farm Service Agency). This analysis compliments and augments that strategy by examining thefeasibility of recruiting more experienced dairy farmers from other countries to re-locate in Wisconsin.However, before we can encourage immigration, we need to learn more from the few immigrants whohave re-located to the Wisconsin dairy industry. What attracted them, and what are the constraints theyfaced in this process? This report attempts to answer those questions based on an analysis of theexperiences of 17 recent immigrant dairy farmers to Wisconsin.The major reason this group of farmers chose to immigrate to the U.S. was the lack of a quota systemfor milk production. The lack of a milk supply quota system coupled with the perceived opportunity tosucceed in dairy was the main reason these immigrants made the decision to move to Wisconsin. Theimmigrants also chose Wisconsin over other places because of the extensive dairy infrastructure, thefarming conditions and the relatively low investment needed to start farming. The perceived quality ofthis dairy infrastructure, and the different paths that one can take to enter the dairy industry wassignificant in the views of these immigrants. The major constraint these farmers faced, and many stillface, are associated with legal immigration issues for themselves and their families. There is significantuncertainty, lengthy organizational procedures, and legal costs associated with establishing a legal basisto operate their dairy firms. This, in turn, has implications for daily business dealings that citizens takefor granted. It also can result in situations where the adult children of these immigrants are forced toreturn to their country of origin to begin the visa application process independently.iii
Recommendations1. For the State of Wisconsin to develop a RegionalCenter immigrant visa process to expedite the legalstatus of immigrants and families who make significantinvestments and create new jobs in the Wisconsindairy industry.2. For the State of Wisconsin and the private sector tojointly develop a coordinated marketing program toattract more immigrant dairy farmers to Wisconsinbased on the themes identified in this study (i.e., lackof a quota system, competitive land and facilitymarkets, quality dairy infrastructure, pro-agricultureenvironment, and opportunities for success).3. To encourage the development of assistance programsfor new immigrants addressing legal and financialassistance, providing local mentors who are membersof professional dairy associations, and registry ofprivate sector firms who can provide criticalinformation during the formation of a new dairyenterprise.“There hides an opportunitybehind every tree.””.iv
International Immigration into the Wisconsin Dairy Industry:Opportunities And ConstraintsIntroductionWisconsin, proudly known as ‘America’s dairyland’, is one of the nation’s leading states in dairyfarming when measured in the value of milk produced.The five highest ranking states in the nation are:California, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, andMinnesota (USDA, April 2004). Despite this leadingrole, the general trend is that the number of cows andfarms are dropping each year. “In the period 1985 –2001 the number of cows dropped each year by 38,000cows; the milk cow numbers fell from 1.876 million to1.292 million” (Jesse et al., 2002).Recent statistics show that in the period 2002 –2003, more farmers exiting than entering caused thetotal number of farms to drop by almost a thousand,resulting in 16,400 remaining dairy farms in Wisconsin.The number of milk cows in this same period droppedby 21,000 resulting in a total cow herd of 1.271 millioncows in Wisconsin for 2002. A similar trend is found inthe rest of the United States; the number of dairyoperations continues to decline. Farm numbers droppedto 97,560 in 2001 compared to 123,700 in 1997. Alsothe number of herds declined from 9.25 million head in1997 to 9.12 million in 2001 (NASS, September 2002).It is in this context that an analysis of farmersimmigrating to Wisconsin is so important an issue asthey will take the place of exiting farmers. Immigrantscan be viewed as a critical part of those who enter theWisconsin dairy industry annually, and represent animportant contribution to the long-term viability of theindustry (PATS, 2001). In general it can be stated thatthe immigrants are in many ways different than theyoung, domestic families entering our dairy industryeach year, often with the help of state and universityprograms. As immigrant farming families, they bring insignificant capital, knowledge, experience and provenentrepreneurship. Some take over an existing farm,develop the herd in line with the farm’s capacities, andthen gradually expand from there. Others build acomplete new dairy facility. Either method boosts thelocal economy and enhances the productivity of theWisconsin dairy industry. While there may be aminority who view immigrant dairy farmers as a threat,it must be remembered that the price any dairy farmerreceives for milk is dependent on demand. Between theconsumer and the farmer there is a critical infrastructureof processing firms and organizations that are dependenton a consistent supply of high-quality milk. To theextent that immigrant dairy farmers help keep thissegment of the industry viable, then all dairy farmers inWisconsin benefit.The Wisconsin dairy industry and governmentofficials may have some general ideas about therationale behind farmers’ decisions to move to theUnited States and Wisconsin, but the details behind this1
International Immigration into the Wisconsin Dairy Industrydecision process are not fully understood. Elaboratingon the basic understanding behind these immigrationdecisions is the function of this report. Why would afarming family operating in another country choose tomove its business to Wisconsin? What opportunities inWisconsin were strong enough to voluntarily move afamily thousands of miles away from their extendedfamilies, friends, and former communities? Whatconstraints and obstacles did they face in this process?More important, are there actions that the Wisconsindairy industry can take to counter these constraints so asto help immigrants contribute to the future viability ofWisconsin’s dairy industry? In an effort to begin toanswer these and other questions, research wasconducted during the spring and summer of 2004.While this research was only the beginning in an attemptto unravel the complex answers to these questions, it is,nonetheless, a start.MethodologyThere are no “master” lists of immigrants to theWisconsin dairy industry. Consequently, it wasnecessary to try and identify recent (withinapproximately the last 20 years) immigrants usinginformal techniques. We began this process bycontacting a number of different professionals andprofessional dairy organizations and asked them if theywere aware of any immigrant dairy farmers operating intheir area. This included all University of Wisconsin-Extension Agriculture staff and Agricultural Businessfaculty operating at the county level. Also manyagricultural realtors and professional dairy organizationswere approached. Furthermore, participants in thisresearch also attended different conferences and courseswhere there was a likelihood of knowledge aboutimmigrant farmers. Information obtained in this processvaried from very detailed contact information (i.e.,names, mailing address, telephone number) to moregeneral information (probable last name of a farmeroperating in a Wisconsin county).This preliminary list of immigrants was theninvestigated and screened in order to generatepreliminary contact information. If the neededinformation was lacking, a variety of sources were usedto develop this preliminary contact information. Theresulting list of immigrants was then contacted bytelephone and asked two basic questions afterdetermining whether they met the study criteria: “Areyou willing to voluntarily join the research?” and “Doyou know of any other immigrants?” This is oftenreferred to as the “snowball technique” in surveyresearch. This technique was used to identify the finallist of 17 immigrants who recently have entered theWisconsin dairy industry.It should be noted that all of the farmers contactedwho met the criteria agreed to participate in the study.There were no refusals to participate in the study. Ofthe 17 cases, 15 agreed to be interviewed with personalface-to-face interviews on the farm during the periodApril – June 2004. Two farmers sent their survey bymail because they lacked time for an on-farm interview.The face-to-face method used with 15 of the immigrantfarmers is time consuming and cost-intensive, but thequality and quantity of data (quantitative and qualitativeinformation) helped to attain effective results. In manyways we found that the personal visits helped farmers toexpress their experiences in their own words. The resultscan be considered a family’s personal story on theimmigration process, and how they responded to theperceived opportunities found in the Wisconsin dairyindustry.2
Opportunities and ConstraintsThe survey used in both the face-to-faceand mail contacts consisted of three mainsections: questions about the general farmcharacteristics, the opportunities the familyfound in Wisconsin and the last part addressedthe constraints faced during the process ofimmigration. This report is organized to followthis same basic structure.Characteristics of Immigrants andOperationsBefore beginning to describe thecharacteristics of the farms operated by theseimmigrant farmers, the first item ofinformation presents data on the country oforigin. This information is presented in Table1. It should be noted that immigration into theWisconsin dairy industry is not always a directpath. Eleven immigrants entered directly intoWisconsin; three came through other states(Texas and Illinois) and three came throughCanada. Table 1 also shows that the large partof the immigrants originate from Holland (n =8); three farmers originate from Switzerland;two from Germany; two from Canada; onefrom Scotland and one from England. Thegroup reflects that most of the immigrantscome from Europe. The years of entry ofimmigrants vary from 1978 to 2004.The farm characteristics are listed in table2. In order to provide a meaningful context forthese farm characteristics, immigrant farmcharacteristics are contrasted with the averagecharacteristics for the Wisconsin county in which theyoperate. The number of milk cows refers to all cows inmilk and dry cows. The “acreage per farm” columnrepresents all land owned. Land rented out to others orleased in from others is excluded in this table.The largest numbers of immigrants are located inClark County, which also happens to be Wisconsin’sbiggest cow county. Ranking based on total production(i.e. total number of cows multiplied by pounds of milkper cow) by county in 2002, show that Clark is thelargest followed by Marathon, Dane, Grant andManitowoc counties (USDA – NASS, 2003).The number of cows milked by immigrant farms isconsiderably larger than the average umber of cows inthe nine Wisconsin counties where these immigrantshave located. The average owned acreage per farm forthe immigrants is also higher than the county average infour of the eight counties. The overall average of ownedTable 1The immigrant’s country of origin and the place and year ofenteringCountry of originYear of entry1 Netherlands Wisconsin in 20022 Netherlands Texas in 1993; Wisconsin in 20013 Netherlands Texas in 1988; Wisconsin in 20014 Germany Canada in 1979; Wisconsin in 19955 Netherlands Canada in 1990; Wisconsin in 20026 Netherlands Canada in 1984; Wisconsin in 19937 Netherlands Wisconsin in 20008 Scotland Wisconsin in 20029 Canada Wisconsin in 200310 Netherlands Wisconsin in 198211 Switzerland Wisconsin in 198112 Canada Wisconsin in 199813 Netherlands Wisconsin in 200414 England Wisconsin in 199715 Switzerland Illinois in 1992; Wisconsin in 199916 Germany Wisconsin in 198517 Switzerland Wisconsin in 19783acreage by the immigrant farmers is higher than theoverall Wisconsin average. The average number of cowsper immigrant farm is almost 6 times as large as theaverage number of cows per farm when compared to alldairy farms in Wisconsin. The same trend applies tomilk productivity as almost all immigrant farmersproduce more milk than the average in the county wherethey are located. The general theme represented bythese statistics is that these immigrants have made asignificant contribution to the Wisconsin dairy industryand are managing their investment with above averagemanagerial skills.“Listening is very important if you want tosucceed as an immigrant! You have to beprepared to become an American whichimplies adaptation to the American way”.
International Immigration into the Wisconsin Dairy IndustryTable 2Average immigrant farm characteristics by county of residence (2002)******Clark# immigrantsLafayette# immigrantsFond du Lac# immigrantsCalumet# immigrantsKewaunee# immigrantsBarron# immigrantsOconto# immigrantsMarathon# immigrantsWalworth# immigrantsfarms milk-cows cows / farm acreage / farm milk / cow1,0886353163,3261,66830,0901,652447 42,4564 * 97822512801461125218531132122,49955028,30352026,7901,30020,5258260,5919012,2929558278851,65295326100550101520581,300818271909395210383284867211288**2051101901602145201931141831772220***17,50021,64815,70023,00018,50025,32119,00023,60019,30025,30016,30023,50017,90019,00017,10015,00018,30017,000All immigrants 17 6,935 433 340 22,016Wisconsin 16,886 1,243,315 74 204 17,367One farmer in Fond du Lac is not milking cows anymoreOne farmer in this group only owns the cowsThis farmer rented all his land(source: 2002 Census of Agriculture, Wisconsin State and County Data, Volume 1, Geographic Area Series,Part 49, June 2004)Occupation HistoryBefore migration, most of the farmers were workingin the dairy industry as farmers (owners), working asherd managers, or in a combination of dairy and crops(see table 3). The partner’s occupation prior toimmigration varied more. In general, farm partners arealso helping to manage the farm business while at thesame time also managing the household and family.Three immigrant farmers met their wives here in theU.S., while some partners were students beforemigration. Consistent with Wisconsin agriculturaltrends, three of the partners are working off-farm withfull-time employment. The majority of the immigrantshad developed significant farming experience in the4country of origin, and brought these as well as partnerskills to the Wisconsin dairy industry.OpportunitiesTo understand why the immigrants came to theUnited States, and in particular to Wisconsin, we askedthe immigrants to identify the most important reasonsthat motivated them to make this significant decision.Specifically, we asked them: “What opportunities didyou perceive that caused you to move?” The followingsection first covers the reasons for choosing the U.S.above other countries, and then Wisconsin from amongother states with a dairy industry.
Opportunities and ConstraintsTable 3Principal operator’s and partner’s occupation before migrationOccupation before migrationOccupation of the partner1 dairy and agricultural assistance bureau work off-farm full-time as an inspector2 nutritionist farmer3 dairy student4 dairy, but sold the cows later on andmanages farm and householdstarted with pigs/sows5 dairy and a manager / herdsman manages farm and household6 outside the agricultural business: machinemanages householddealer, kitchen factory7 dairy student8 manager / herdsman work off-farm full-time as trial officer9 dairy household manager and full-time student10 other, namely electronic service engineer household manager11 dairy met partner in Wisconsin12 Dairy household manager13 Dairy works off-farm full-time in nursing home14 dairy and crops manages farm and household15 Dairy met partner in Illinois16 dairy and crops internship in dairy (in general)17 dairy and crops manager of farm businessUnited StatesA weighted scale was used to rank the opportunitiesstated by the immigrant dairy farmers. Each farmer wasasked to list their top three reasons. The first or mostimportant reason was scored with three points, thesecond most important opportunity received two points,and the third most important opportunity received onepoint. An average score was then calculated for eachopportunity, and the results are presented in table 4.The presence of a milk-quota system in the countryof origin versus no milk-quota system in the U.S. wasthe major reason cited for immigrating to the UnitedStates. Our farmers stated that the United States offersimmigrants a country without a quota system which theyfelt was important to keep control of the costs ofproduction. The second most important reason forimmigrating to the U.S. was the perceived opportunitiesoffered by the U.S. dairy industry. The third reason wasto remain/become a dairy farmer. The fourth and fifthreasons respectively were family reasons, and thegeneral way of life in the United States. Family reasonscover personal circumstances since some of the farmersactually got married in the U.S. Other immigrants in thestudy stated that, “the way of living in the U.S.” was animportant opportunity to them. One farmer stated it as:“Life is easier in the U.S.” Other reasons given, but notamong the top five reasons include: “financial” (a betterexchange rate), “tax” (lower taxes), “the freedom ofentrepreneurship”, and various indicators that theneeded investments for a viable dairy operation (i.e.,land, farms, etc.) were readily available in the UnitedStates.The previous section discussed why the immigrantschoose the United States as a place to start a dairybusiness. More important is the question of why theywould move to Wisconsin instead of another state?WisconsinThe same method used for investigating therationale for immigrating to the United States was alsoapplied to the perceived opportunities underlying thedecision to relocate to Wisconsin. The results in table 5show that the leading motive for coming to Wisconsinwas the perception that it has a good dairyinfrastructure. Statistics supporting this perceptionshow that Wisconsin was the home of 202 dairy plants5
International Immigration into the Wisconsin Dairy IndustryTable 4Ranking of most important reasons forimmigration to USAOpportunityPointsno milk quota in the US 17opportunities for dairy 13to become a dairy farmer 10family reason 8the way of life 8Financial / tax 7Freedom of entrepreneurship 6more land available 4job offer (outside agriculture 3good farm prices 3dairy farm at home was too small 3affordable 3overregulation in country of origin 3little government help in country oforigin2Holland is getting crowded and wedid not like the mentality over 2there anymorecould not start in Canada 2good infrastructure 1Table 5Ranking of most important reasons forimmigration to WisconsinOpportunityPointsinfrastructure 24farming conditions 23low investment to start farming 14opportunities for dairy 9dairy state 8family 7other 6in 2002 (USDA – NASS, 2003), although this numberhas also been decreasing in recent years.The second most important motive was the generalfarming conditions in Wisconsin. The farmingconditions immigrant farmers cited included: “lowtaxes”, “the permit” (in Wisconsin one is allowed tostart a dairy farm with up to 1,000 Animal Units, i.e.710 milk cows including dry cows, without a permit),“foreign ownership of land is allowed”, “the climate isgood and suited for dairy and for grazing cows”,“smaller farm units” and “the small distance to theWorld Dairy Expo in Madison because of the registeredherd”.The third most important motivation was therelatively low investment needed to start a dairy farm.As one immigrant farmer stated: “For somebody realinterested to farm, there is still an opportunity to startfrom the bottom, 'good hard' workers can make goodmoney and rent either a farm or start in the northernpart where complete farms sell for $200,000 including aland contract!”These farmers mentioned that the range of “good”land can vary from $1,000 to $3,000 per acre, but this isstill significantly less than comparable land prices intheir countries of origin.The initial investment the farmer brings toWisconsin limits the choice of how they will enter ourdairy industry. Some of immigrant farmers began byrenting a whole farm while others started by building acomplete new facility. While initial equity limitsoptions, it needs to be noted that many of theseimmigrant farmers stated that it does not necessarilytake a large amount of capital to get started inWisconsin. They cited many different ways to getstarted in the dairy industry (see section Investment inWisconsin Dairy industry).Other important motivations cited for moving intoWisconsin were: “opportunities for dairy”, “Wisconsinis a dairy state”, “family” and “other” reasons. “Other”reasons include “church” as being important in themove to Wisconsin,“We wanted to live close to a big city because of thechildren” and “Job offer here in Wisconsin”. Most ofthe comments by the immigrants indicated thatWisconsin has a lot of opportunities for dairy farming.One farmer pointed out that: “There hides anopportunity behind every tree.”In addition to the ranking of opportunities justdiscussed, the immigrant farmers were also asked toprovide a ranking of the importance of a series of fixedstatements that were created to represent opportunity inWisconsin. These results are presented in table 6. Eachfarmer was asked to express their assessment of theimportance of each statement. They could assign a “1”to statements they considered not important up to avalue of “5” for statements they considered veryimportant. Each of these statements is listed in table 6along with the number of times they were mentionedand the weighted average. The top six reasons based onthe average scoring is printed in boldface font.6
Opportunities and ConstraintsTable 6Importance of opportunities in Wisconsin (1 = not important at all; 5 = very important)BusinessopportunitiesSocial aspectsMilk marketcharacteristicsFarming conditionsRegulation anddevelopmentopportunities to expand the dairybusinessopportunities for the next generationlevel of regulations in country oforigin1 2 3 4 524200013301214910Weightedaverage4.413.654.06acceptance of farmers3 0 4 4 6 3.59level of social activities2 3 6 4 2 3.06presence of other European farmers 13 1 2 0 1 1.53milk price 2 1 3 5 6 3.71absence of milk quota 1 0 1 0 15 4.65access to milk processing plants 2 1 2 2 10 4.00climate 1 0 5 4 7 3.94soil quality 1 2 4 8 2 3.47land prices 1 2 1 7 6 3.88threat of land takingsable to farm in a way as in thecountry of origin96311611332.182.65level of income supportlevel of environmental legislationspopulationfarm densitylevel of urbanization pressure81125222312675542542162342.293.593.293.182.94The responses in table 6 are organized into differentsubsections: business opportunities, social aspects, milkmarket characteristics, farming conditions, andregulation and development. The top six reasons areassociated with business opportunities, milk marketcharacteristics and farming conditions. None of the topsix reasons fell within either the social aspects categoryor in the regulation and development category. Thepresence of other European farmers was clearly not animportant motivation for these immigrants.Nevertheless, some of these same farmers benefitedfrom assistance provided by other immigrants throughhelpful advice and business counseling.In the business opportunities section the statement“expand the dairy business” is very important (4.41).Expanding is viewed as easy in Wisconsin because thereis no policy instrument associated with a milk-quotasystem. It was pointed out that this policy makes7expanding expensive or impossible in their countries oforigin. As one of the immigrant farmers stated: “It isvery easy if you want to expand, you only have to buysome cows and extra land and that’s it.” The level ofregulations in the country of origin is also anotherimportant issue for moving to Wisconsin (4.06). Onefarmer in describing this situation in the country oforigin stated: “Unnecessary rules and regulations makeyou feel like you are being treated as if you were acriminal; you are not allowed to do anything anymoreand more and more restrictions apply to the dairyfarmer.”In the social aspects category, farmers state that theway the farmers are accepted is an important motive tosettle down in Wisconsin. It was stated that “People inWisconsin are very nice and helpful”, according to animmigrant who visited approximately 20 other statesbefore deciding to live in Wisconsin.
International Immigration into the Wisconsin Dairy IndustrySocial factors influencing the immigration decisioninclude: “school system having more possibilities” (5),“living centrally and being closer to what you need” (4),and “finding your own people” (5). A negative socialfactor cited was the “two dairy industries” as one of thefarmers described it. He was generally disappointed in adairy industry”where one small segment (30%) isleading and the larger part (70%) is only following”according to him. Between these two industries there isa big gap. Another negative social factor pointed outwas “the health-care system (1)”.For milk market characteristics “other” remarkswere: “marketing genetics” (5), “quality of milk”, i.e.quality standards for milk like butterfat, cell count islower (5), “ability to forward contract” (5), and“infrastructure” (5).The farmers clearly express their dislike of the quotasystem in the category covering milk marketcharacteristics. Fifteen out of the group stated that theyfound it very important that there is no milk quotasystem in Wisconsin. Associated with the lack of thispolicy is the perception of a good dairy infrastructure inWisconsin. This was represented by the importanceplaced on “access to milk processing plants”, which hada weighted average of 4.00.“Climate” and “land prices” are the last of the topsix reasons for immigration to Wisconsin as presented intable 6. “Anything will grow in Wisconsin; it is like agreenhouse”, as one farmer expressed about the climatebeing good.It was clear from these interviews that Wisconsinhas a distinctive character or reputation when comparedto the other dairy states in the United States. This isconsistent with the more formal study cited earlier(Jesse et. al., 2002). This reputation is developed aroundan infrastructure that was found to be important by dairyimmigrants. Other factors, such as no milk quota, goodfarming conditions and low investment (i.e. land prices),also contribute to the reputation of Wisconsin as being agood place to settle down and start a dairy farm.The next section describes the results from allowingthe respondents to identify any other factors thatinfluenced their decision to locate in Wisconsin. Thevalues found in the brackets represent the number oftimes this reason was cited by the immigrant farmers.Respondents could mention more than one factor.Factors cited that represented business opportunitiesinclude: “appreciation for what you are doing” (5),“marketing” (5), “opportunities to start”(5),”infrastructure support” (5), and “networking” (5).A farmer states in the section on farmingconditions that, “he had to get used to changing to newcrops.” Instead of rye grass he now grows alfalfa, plushe has to deal with the phenomenon of DisplacedAbomasum.Other factors mentioned under regulation anddevelopment were “passport for cows in England” (5)and “animal rights/welfare” (5). Another factor citedwas “Getting permits for lagoons given by theDepartment of Natural Resources” (3).Opportunity NetworksTo provide some guidance if there are future effortsto attract immigrant dairy farmers, we asked severalquestion about how these farmers learned aboutWisconsin. Most of the immigrants mentioned morethan one way of learning about opportunities in theWisconsin dairy industry, and a summary is listed inTable 7.Table 7Different ways of learning about WisconsinLearned about Wisconsin using… #formal contacts (professionalorganizations or real estate groups)interpersonal networks, such asfamily or friendsagricultural trade shows 3agricultural marketing events 2other 8768
Opportunities and ConstraintsThe leading source in terms of numbers fell into the‘other’ category. This category includes a variety ofsources such as magazines and newspapers, dairyconstruction industry sources, tours at the World DairyExpo, Dairy State, Western Canadian dairy seminar (thesecond largest seminar in North America where a largecontingent of veterinarians and professors from theUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison attend), selforganizedcrop tours in Wisconsin, and the extensionagency. The second most important source was throughprofessional organizations and realtors who specialize inagricultural real estate. Informal networks representedby family or friends who have some knowledge ofWisconsin were cited as the third most important source.Agricultural marketing events where products orservices linked to Wisconsin also serve to promote thestate were cited by two of the immigrants.As described in the previous section, farmers do notthink that the presence of other European farmers wasan important factor in their decision to immigrate. Theimportance of this belief was explained by a farmer whostated: “As an immigrant you sometimes feel theobligation to cluster all together as immigrants becauseyou are, as a stranger, looking for familiarity; all theseclustered groups come to an end sooner or later.”Listening to these immigrants describes how theylearned about opportunities in Wisconsin, it becameclear there is no one best source. These immigrants useddifferent sources and networks. Attending seminars,advertising by different sources, contacting realtors,participating in professional organizations, andnetworking through family members were allmentioned. Rather than focusing future recruitmentefforts within any one potential source, it might be moreimportant to consistently communicate a similarmessage through these multiple channels."The department of commerce has somehelp available but only later; you have toprove your credit, line up visa's, socialsecurity numbers etc. The USA should bemore open for honest hard working peoplethat will boost their economy and will help tokeep farms from setting idle"9Assistance Before and During theImmigration ProcessOur history contains many stories about the courageas well as the trials and tribulations associated withmoving across the ocean to begin a new life in theUnited States. This history is being repeated today in theaccounts about this process as related by theseimmigrants. Assistance, whether it is informal fromfamily, or more formal government activities is part ofthis process. Moreover, this assistance could haveoccurred in the country of origin, or it may havehappened after reaching the United States. We wereinterested to learn about the different types, sources, andtiming of this assistance, if any, experienced by theseimmigrants. We asked these farmers if they received anyassistance in either their country of origin or here in theUnited States, and if so, the nature of this assistance. Weoffered the respondents a list of different types ofassistance including legal, financial, visa applicationassistance, family, school counselling, farming relatedtechnical assistance and other. Table 8 summarizes theoverall result of this question.Table 8Assistance received in country of origin orWisconsinyesnoAssistancecountry of origin Wisconsinn = 3 n = 6n = 14 n = 11The majority of the immigrants did not receive anyof these different types of assistance in the country oforigin. Only three farmers noted that assistance wasprovided by a professional organization in theimmigration process. This organization assisted thefarmers with the visa-application process. All threefarmers claim that they were satisfied with the companywho provided the assistance. One farmer states: “Thiscompany was very helpful. They provided a greatservice; more than 100%.”Roughly one-third of the immigrants were providedsome form of assistance after arriving in Wisconsin.Much of this assistance was related to businessarrangements. For example, one cited some help of areal estate broker: “We were very lucky with our realestate broker; he has done a lot.” Also cited wereresidents in the local community where the immigrantwas entering the dairy business. As one respondent put
International Immigration into the Wisconsin Dairy Industryit, these local citizens are willing to help you out, but:“A lot depends upon your own attitude as you shouldnot tick them off because you'll have to live and dealwith them.”Another farmer stated that: “There is a lot of roomfor improvements. It is very hard to get social securitynumbers and work permits.” Getting social securitynumbers is difficult and was mentioned by mostrespondents: “They have to give you the social securitynumbers right away because otherwise you can't doanything.” Without a social security number it is hardto get a credit card or buy business or household itemssuch as a car, a cellular phone, a satellite disk etc.The ten farmers who did not receive any assistancein either the country of origin or in Wisconsin expressedindependence. They dealt with all situations without anyhelp. As one farmer states: “Help yourself and use yourgood common sense.”Another farmer, who started a relatively large dairyin Wisconsin, states that: “There is a general lack ofacceptance of big dairy operations” implying a lack ofsupport by both the business community and other localfarmers.Nevertheless, this farmer adds that the neighboringfarmers accepted a new challenge --- “Inconvenienceturned into opportunity.”One farmer argued that Wisconsin is a dairy state,and “The government is pro-agriculture; there should beassistance from the government in getting a green cardand permanent residence status.” This discussion of thelack of assistance with obtaining social security numbersand obtaining visas provides the transition into the thirdand final section of this report, constraints in theimmigration process.ConstraintsThe discussion of opportunities in the Wisconsindairy industry illustrated that these immigrants are, ingeneral, very optimistic about the future of the industry.This does not, however, imply that they were not awareof the constraints and obstacles faced by otherWisconsin dairy farmers, or by other immigrants to the10United States. A potential challenge for immigrantfarmers is to adapt to the Wisconsin style of farmingwhich may differ significantly from those learned intheir country of origin. Immigration means changing oradapting to the methods of the local farmers and farmconditions which may introduce additional constraints.The next section of our interview with these respondentsfocused on these constraints.General constraintsThe same method of ranking opportunities was usedto also assess the constraints these farmers faced duringthe immigration process. The results are presented intable 9. Each of the immigrant farmers were asked torank 6 different (possible) constraints; legal immigrationissues, lack of factual information, farm conditions inWisconsin, banks are more stringent in business deals,lack of a trusted business advisor during the first yearand other constraints.Not all of these farmers experienced constraints:four of the farmers stated they had none of theconstraints listed in table 9. As one state: “Everythingwent well after we did a lot of homework.” Anotherfarmer who moved from another state into Wisconsinalso did not experience any problems with the visaapplication because they already had applied for it in theother state. For the remaining 13 respondents, however,this lack of constraints was not the case.By far the most important constraint that emergedduring the interview process was related to legalimmigration issues (e.g. obtaining a permanent visa).The second most important constraint was theperception that local banks were more stringent inbusiness deals with these immigrants relative to theprocess used with other local farmers. One respondentTable 9Relative importance of constraints to theimmigration processConstraintPointslegal immigration issues 37banks are more stringentin business deals13lack of factual information 6trusted business advisorduring first year5Other 4farm conditions inWisconsin2
Opportunities and Constraintssaid: “Very few banks lend money to foreigners.” Thethird most important constraint was the lack of factualinformation. This related to what to expect in theWisconsin dairy business, the legal immigrationprocess, and what needs to be considered in starting adairy business in Wisconsin. Several of the respondentsalso pointed to the problem of finding a trusted businessadvisor, someone familiar with business practices,during the first year of operation. “Finding the rightpeople is difficult. You just have to be smart enough andknow what is good enough for you!”Other constraints cited by the respondents included:“It is hard to buy honest healthy pure bred cows”,“Starting capital (was low)” and “Cleaning up the taxburden in Canada.”FamilyNot all constraints faced by these immigrants wererelated to business. The immigration process ofteninvolves a family. In some cases the familiesexperienced difficulties in adjusting to a new countryand culture. Moving to another country requiresadaptation and change to new or different values,informal community norms, and traditions. Of the 17immigrants interviewed, 15 had primary families at thetime of immigration, and in 14 of these 15 cases allfamily members immigrated at the same time. Only onefamily came over later. Table 10 lists some of theconstraints faced by the immigrant family that fallwithin this general category.The number one issue, as could be expected whenmoving thousands of miles to a different country wasthe loss of family, friends, and relatives. A number ofindividual issues were classified into the general “other”category. These included issues such as: “To start up inWisconsin,” “A record of a low milk price for almost1,5 years,” “ You’ll have to work harder than inHolland --- it is busier,” “English skills for wife andkids,” “Missing the home seasoning,” “The largerdistance to different shops,” “The language for thechildren during the beginning, “and “Too busy withstarting up the business and not integrating”. As wouldbe expected, integrating into local farm communities isoften a difficult and lengthy process for the entire farmfamily as evidenced by the previous statements.BusinessThese immigrants came to Wisconsin to start a dairybusiness. The same format was used to ask aboutproblems or constraints they faced in beginning thisbusiness. While the results are listed in Table 11, it isimportant to note that four of the farmers stated that theydid not have any problems at all in this process. As onefarmer phrased it, “everything went well after we did alot of homework.”For the remainder, the most important problem wasassociated with the legalities of the immigration process.Obtaining a visa that covers them and their families wascited time and time again as a major constraint in theimmigration process. Most immigrants enter the U.S.with an E-2 Investors visa (children under the age of 21are also included in this visa). An E-2 visa is a nonimmigrantvisa which is relatively easy to obtain withrespect to time and money. A disadvantage of the E-2visa is that children, who want to stay in the U.S. afterturning 21 years of age have to obtain their own visa toremain eligible to stay in the country. This can createproblems especially in those cases where one of thechildren will no longer be involved in the farmingactivity. Children older than 21 who want to continueworking on the farm have to apply for a work permitwhich is, according to one farmer in this process, “Veryhard to get.”The “visa issue” was a common and reoccurringtheme in almost all of our visits with these immigrantfarmers. We were told that transferring a immigrantTable 10The importance of the reasons mentioned thatimpeded the immigration process on a familylevelReasonPointsloss of family, friends, relatives 25other 17social activities 11schools 8Table 11The three most important problems for thebusiness during migrationConstraintPointsVisa 23Lack of consistent applicationof SBA criteria7establishing contacts withinput suppliers5other 2411
International Immigration into the Wisconsin Dairy Industryvisa into permanent residence (American citizen) is along, expensive and very insecure process. Furthermore,it was pointed out that you are not allowed to vote, timeand expense is associated with renewing the E-2 visaevery five years, and families can be separated as adultchildren can be forced to return to the country of origindue to delays in the processing of the application.Immigration, residency, or visa issues also influencefarmers’ ability to engage in many typical businessbehaviors. For example, several of the farmersinterviewed discussed limitations to financing optionsdue to the lack of a resident credit history. One option tothis visa and residency issue may be found in a littleused federal program that is managed by the U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Service that linkseconomic development to financial investments byimmigrants. This program has been used to induceinvestment and job creation relative shopping malls inPhiladelphia and nut production in California. The bestexample, however, is found in the state of South Dakotaused has this program to expand their dairy industry.This is the Regional Center Immigrant Programwhereby an immigrant can by-pass the obstacles anddelays associated with residency status throughinvestment and job creation.South Dakota has made it possible for immigrantdairy farmers to obtain a “green card” or residency whenSouth Dakota developed this type of Regional Center.The Regional Center has to be developed within aspecified geographical setting, and in the case of theSouth Dakota example, immigrant dairy farmers mustinvest at least $500,000 in developing a commercialenterprise. In the case of South Dakota, the geographicregion was defined by 12 contiguous counties(Brookings, Clark, Codington, Deuel, Grant, Hamlin,Kingsbury, Lake, McCook, Miner, Moody and Roberts).In addition to the investment requirement within aspecified geographic region, new South Dakotaenterprises must also create four or more jobs (directlyor indirectly). The applicable geographical area, size ofinvestment, and job creation requirements are allestablished as part of applying for such a RegionalCenter.Resources used by immigrant dairyfarmersThe immigrant farmers interviewed used a numberof different resources before, during, and after theimmigration process. These ranged from informalcontacts, membership in social and agriculturalorganizations, and even literature from their country oforigin.Table 12 lists the various social and agriculturalorganizations these immigrant farmers wereparticipating in at the time of the interview. Most ofthem are connected with a church, and most are active intheir local schools. As with other immigrants to theU.S., children of the immigrants often build links to thelocal community through school, sports activities, andyouth groups. These immigrants have followed thatsame pattern.The farmers were actively participating in theagricultural dairy organizations. Seven of the farmersinterviewed are active in the Professional DairyProducers of Wisconsin (PDPW), and another fourTable 12Organizational involvementType of organization #Church 8Professional Dairy Producers ofWisconsin (PDPW)7Schools 6Dairy Business Association (DBA) 4Farm Bureau Federation 4Youth Groups 3Sports 3Business (e.g. chamber ofcommerce)2Farmers Union 1National Farmers Organization 1Other 4None 412
Opportunities and Constraintsparticipate in the Dairy Business Association (DBA).Four are also members of the Farm Bureau federation,while others have joined other farm organizations. Allthese organizations, and in particular PDPW, can playan important role for future immigrant dairy farmers. Asdiscussed under the constraints section, finding trustedlegal and business advisors, locations of sources forfarm inputs with a sound business record in localcommunities, and reliable sources for other informalinformation and advice was of concern to theseimmigrants. One option would be for theseorganizations to consider developing what might becalled a “mentor program” for immigrant dairy farmers.Other dairy farmers can help recent immigrants to theirlocal areas to address the constraints listed above. Thespecifics could be developed by each agriculturalorganization that might be interested in this cooperativeeffort to help secure the future of the Wisconsin dairyindustry.Contacts with other immigrant farmersAn important dimension that emerged in the studywas the informal networks that have developed amongthese immigrant farmers. These informal networks canprovide advice and information to the participants justas any informal farmer network. The questions duringthe interview focused on whether they had contacts withother immigrant dairy farmers, and if so, the frequencyof those contacts. As mentioned earlier relative to Table6, networking with other European immigrants does notappear to be very important. Table 13 supports thisfinding with respect to the frequencies of contact withother immigrants.Table 13Frequencies of contacts with other immigrantfarmers#about 4 or more times per month 2about 1 – 3 times per month 5a few times a year 4seldom / none 6Literature from the country of originAnother resource that might be used by ourimmigrant dairy farmers is publications on agriculturalissues from their respective countries of origin. These13publications may be providing more recent informationon the production strategies that they used beforeimmigrating to Wisconsin. Table 14 lists the numbersof farmers who still read agriculture productionliterature from the country of origin. Less than half ofthe respondents in this analysis used this particularresource. How often and when the resource is usedrelative to the date of the immigration is not analyzed inthis report. It may be that this country of originresources are used more frequently immediatelyfollowing the start of the new business, but decrease asthe farmer finds local sources. That is, after theybecome more integrated into and knowledgeable aboutlocal resources, they may stop using these otherresources associated with their country of origin.Table 14Read agriculture literature from the countryof origin#yes 7no 10Investment in the Wisconsin Dairy IndustryA defining characteristic of these immigrant dairyfarmers is that they come to Wisconsin prepared tomake a significant investment in the dairy industry.Many have sold their operations or farms back in thecountry of origin, and are prepared to invest these fundsin Wisconsin. Table 15 lists the amount of equity thefarmers in this study brought to invest into theWisconsin dairy industry. These amounts werecorrected for inflation between the time of investmentand the time of the study based on the most recentstatistics (2002) provided by the closest Federal ReserveBank (Minnesota).Of those willing to provide investment data, theamount of the investment varied between $50,000 and$2,000,000. In 2002 dollars, the 15 immigrant dairyfarmers had invested $9,378,376 in the Wisconsin dairyindustry. Another aspect in Table 15 is that more recentimmigrants appear to be investing significantly morethan the earlier immigrants in this study. Anotherfinding is that it does not necessarily take a largeinvestment to start a dairy farm in Wisconsin. As one ofthe immigrant farmers stated: “Good hard workers canmake good money and rent either a farm or start in thenorthern part where complete farms sell for $200,000
International Immigration into the Wisconsin Dairy IndustryTable 15Investment (real value and corrected for inflation to2002) in Wisconsin Dairy IndustryYear ofentryAmountinvestedInvestmentcorrectedfor inflation1 2002 850,000 850,0002 2001 1,000,000 1 1,122,4913 2001 360,000 365,6924 1995 100,000 118,0455 2002 600,000 600,0006 1993 80,000 99,5997 2000 1,300,000 1,358,1308 2002 1,000,000 1,000,0009 2003 2,000,000 1,957,56310 1982 80,000 149,13911 1981 150,000 296,86512 1998 800,000 882,94513 * 2004 - -14 1997 50,000 56,04415 1999 100,000 107,98316 ** 1985 0 017 1978 150,000 413,8801. Invested 500,000 in 1993 and 500,000 in 2002.*This farmer was not willing to share the amount invested inWisconsin**This farmer started a job in Wisconsin and therefore did notinvest any capital(Inflation: http://minneapolisfed.org/research/data/us/calc/index.cfm#calc) including a land contract!” Renting was alsomentioned as another option for an immigrant to getstarted in farming. One farmer also mentioned sharemilking as another possible instrument for youngimmigrants to work with an older native farmer who isready for retirement. The immigrants in this study aredifferent than the classic image of the immigrant beingpoor, and having to start at the bottom of the economicladder. Besides being experienced in the dairy businessas mentioned earlier, they also bring a sizeableinvestment based on the sale of their property and milkquota privileges in their country of origin.Profile of the Successful ImmigrantThe last question we asked the 17 immigrant dairyfarmers were to tell us what they thought it took to be asuccessful immigrant. In other words, what personalattributes and characteristics would be needed to besuccessful in the Wisconsin dairy industry? There is no14Table 16Characteristics of a successful immigrantFirst work a while with another farmer to getacquainted with culture and add work experience tosee how you like itGather a lot of informationListening is very importantBe prepared to become an American; adopt toAmerican citizenship/cultureAs a foreigner in America you'll have to work harderthan in HollandYou'll have to have a very open mind and be openmindedYou should be willing to adaptWilling to work hard ("goed moeten hangen")You grow up as Dutch, but you shouldn't be tookeen on your family; you must be ready to leavethem behindAggressive, using opportunities, very open–mindedWilling to workOpen minded for "new things"You have to be an all-round, good managerAble to make business plans for bankersWilling to go into the dairy industry; be good withcowsStay up to date, read magazines, attend meetings,be involvedYou'll have to adopt to the American way offarming; you should not farm in a Dutch wayAdjust and be open-mindedFocus on the details but still see the whole pictureYou have to be a visionary; see it and seize itYou have to handle stress and disappointmentswell; you should not get disappointed along the wayFlexible, adjust to local conditions and you have tohave a business approachA business education is more valuable than anagricultural businessUse your common sense and shut down youremotions when you are doing businessStand on both feet on the ground; don't do anythingstupidStay cool; in the US everything is possible but takeit slowlyIf you never milked a cow before you're in trouble;you'll have to have some experienceDon't listen too much to an extension officer; makeup your own mind and work hardCrunch numbersYou have to have language skills; especiallyagricultural terminologyBeing outgoing, an extrovert really helps in USAYou need to be a practical farmer with a will tosucceed and cash in his pocket
Opportunities and Constraints“right” or “wrong” answer to this question. Instead, weasked them to describe this situation based on theirexperiences in becoming successful immigrants.Table 16 lists the personal opinions of theseimmigrants on what it takes to be a successfulimmigrant to the Wisconsin dairy industry.ConclusionA significant amount of information, knowledge andinsight was gained from working with these immigrantfarmers this last summer. Not all of this can be added tothe report. Instead of adding all this additionalinformation, a decision was made to synthesize thisinformation which has been reported into the form ofthree recommendations in a general format as theappropriate agencies and private sector interests need todevelop the specifics.The major obstacle that had a number of short- andlong-term implications for these immigrants wasassociated with residency status. In the short-term theseissues are related with getting a loan with the bank,finding the right business advisors, and getting a socialsecurity number in order to conduct normal business andhousehold related tasks. In the long term one of thedisadvantages of the E-2 visa is that family memberswho turn 21 years of age have to obtain their own visato remain eligible to stay in the country. One way ofaddressing these short-and long-term constraints isthrough developing a Regional Center visa program forthe state of Wisconsin. The best example of this isfound in South Dakota where this program has beenused to assist immigrants similar to the ones interviewedin this analysis to start a dairy business in that state.The conditions for this Regional Center program inSouth Dakota were that the immigrant has to invest aminimum amount of $500,000, and create four newjobs. While we did not formally measure the number ofjobs created by the 17 immigrants we interviewed, itwas judged after the fact that many of these Wisconsinimmigrants would have met this requirement.Almost all of the immigrants in this analysisoriginated from Europe. Since 1986 Europe has beenusing a limited supply system where a quota system isestablished on the farm level. The lack of such a quotasystem was the major reason why many of ourimmigrants in this study made the decision to re-locatein the United States. The current dairy infrastructure andpositive reputation for the state was the reason whyWisconsin was selected over other locations. Theyviewed Wisconsin as a “true” dairy state where therewere a lot of competing dairy plants seeking high qualitymilk. This demand plus the expertise found in the statecoupled with the relatively low land prices made it agood place for immigrants to start up a dairy farm.It was found that these immigrants to the Wisconsindairy industry were making a significant investment inthat industry, especially more recent immigrants. Theoverall average was approximately $625,000 (in 2002dollars). The size of this investment coupled with theindustry experience of these immigrants makes them avery valuable addition to our industry. Additional effortneeds to be made to augment private and public sectorprograms that attempt to recruit individuals and familiessuch as those we interviewed. These efforts shouldfocus on the reasons why immigrants come to15
International Immigration into the Wisconsin Dairy IndustryAmerica’s Dairyland and the associated strengths suchas the themes discussed in this report; lack of a quotasystem, competitive land markets, a quality dairyinfrastructure, pro-agriculture environment, andopportunities for success. The details of the specificmechanisms or procedures by which these themes arecommunicated remains a task for the Wisconsin dairyindustry.Establishing a dairy farm in Wisconsin for a newimmigrant to the state occurs in a context largelycharacterized by uncertainty and a lack of reliablesources of information. Much of this could be avoidedif the new immigrant had access to the advice orservices of a trusted advisor. This trusted advisor couldprovide information or contacts on real estate, legalprocesses, financial information and all the otherinformation needed to buy land, animals, and farminputs that are part of starting a dairy business. Otherinformation is also needed after the initial, majorinvestments are made such as where do I buy goodgenetic stock, where do I sell milk locally, whatvarieties should I use, what is required to hire labor?Answering these questions requires both formalknowledge of financial and legal matters, and informalor experiential knowledge of local conditions andbusinesses. Consequently, our recommendation is thatthe state develops a list of registered advisors similar tothe Better Business Bureau model that can provide thisformal information. The informal knowledge can onlycome from other dairy farmers operating in the samearea where the immigrant farmer has located the newenterprise. Here we envision a mentor model role formembers of professional dairy associations such as theProfessional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin or the DairyBusiness Association. Volunteers from theseassociations could be assigned to provide this informalinformation to recent immigrants in their area. Thiscould be in the form of occasional phone calls, perhaps afarm visit, and bringing the immigrant farmer to localmeetings of the association. Again, we leave the detailsof this recommendation to be developed by the salientparties.Immigrant farmers played a very important role inthe development and early history of Wisconsin. Basedon these interviews, we remain optimistic thatimmigrant farmers can again play a critical role in thechallenges facing the Wisconsin dairy industry. Overallwe found these immigrant farmers to be hard working,willing to change or adapt to Wisconsin methods offarming, and bringing a fresh entrepreneurial spirit tothe Wisconsin dairy industry. The impact of thisattitude is evidenced by the fact that, in most cases, theirfarms were larger and more productive than the averagein the counties where they located. Yet each of thesefarms, large or small, is unique with each operator andfamily creating a blend of old and new for managingtheir farm business. These farm families faced manydifferent challenges and obstacles in establishing a dairybusiness in a new land, but the drive for success and adesire to meaningfully contribute to their localcommunities was common to all. We encourage all whoread this report to work together in exploring ways toincrease the presence of this type of entrepreneurship inthe foundations of the Wisconsin dairy industry. Thechallenges facing our dairy industry are significant, butso too are the capabilities and contributions of futureimmigrants to Wisconsin. More attention needs to begiven to recruiting and supporting potential immigrantsto the Wisconsin dairy industry. •ReferencesUnited States Department of Agriculture, NationalAgricultural Statistics Service. Milk Production,Disposition and Income, 2003 Summary, April2004.United States Department of Agriculture, 2002 Censusof Agriculture, Wisconsin state and county data,volume 1, geographic area series part 49, issuedJune 2004.National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS),Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department ofAgriculture, U.S. Dairy Herd Structure, releasedSeptember 26, 2002.Jesse, E., B. Barham and B. Jones, 2002. RethinkingDairyland: The Effects of Federal Programs on theCompetitiveness of Dairying in Wisconsin. Dept.AAE, UW-Madison. Sept.Program for Agricultural technology Studies (PATS),Dynamics of Entry and Exit on Wisconsin DairyFarms in the 1990s, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Family Farm Facts No. 14.http://www.pats.wisc.edu/absfactsheet_14.htm. 2001(http://uscis.gov). The section with the completedescription can be found on the website of the U.S.citizenship and immigration service:http://uscis.gov/lpBin/lpext.dll/inserts/slb/slb-1/slb-9976/slb-12543/slb-13617?f=templates&fn=document-frame.htm16