MAURICE, Iowa (KCAU) – Governor Kim Reynolds has declared June as Dairy month for the state of Iowa. The dairy industry generates 4 billion per year however producers have run into some problems within recent years.
The number of dairy farms across the U.S, has decreased in the last few years. However, a local farmer that spoke to KCAU 9 said he is hopeful that the U.S., Mexico, Canada Agreement will help create a more level playing field for dairy farms like his.
“It has been getting better the last few years. It has been a struggle in the past. We really see the exports and the tariffs hopefully helping out, so we can make it a worldwide product, not just domestic,” Iowa dairy farmer Adam Maassen said.
Adam Maassen is a fourth generation dairy farmer. His family’s farm ships its milk to Sanborn, Iowa where it’s made into cheese. He is hopeful that the U.S.M.C.A will increase the reach of U.S. dairy products into surrounding countries.
“We are very excited about the new trade agreement with Mexico. That is opening doors that we can have better, more free trade with Mexico. That’s going to be huge, ” said Maassen.
Governor Kim Reynolds hopes the U.S.M.C.A. will be ratified by Congress. She says this is a positive step for dairy farmers in Iowa.
“We are continually looking for opportunities to expand markets when I meet with the dairy industry. One thing they are trying to do is add compacity for processing in the state, so we are going to continually look for opportunities to do that. We export too much. We want to make sure we are doing the processing in the state that a way we can add value,” said Reynolds.
That’s why the month of June is dedicated to showcasing the work Iowa dairy farmers do, year round.
“To talk about it, to educate Iowans on the dairy farmers that we have in our state and the valuable role they play in our economy,” said Reynolds.
“If we take care of the animals, they will take care of us and just have optimism that our country and our industry will provide and grow,” said Maassen.
Another thing dairy farmers like Maassen are counting on to help their industry is the use of robotics.
Massen says robotics has helped enhance his operation by helping with feed and monitoring his cow’s health, that, he says, gives him more time to care for his livestock.