Should raw milk sales be legalized?

For farmer Brian Wickert, the raw milk bill is about having the freedom to live without interference from the government. But for health officials in America’s Dairyland, it’s about potentially exposing unsuspecting citizens to disease-causing bacteria. At the crux of this debate is the age-old question: How much should government protect its citizens from possible hazards? Continue Reading

Immigrants now 40 percent of state’s dairy workforce

An immigrant worker milks cows in the parlor at John Rosenow's dairy farm in Buffalo County. Rosenow employs eight Mexican immigrants.

A growing number of Wisconsin dairy farmers are relying on immigrants to milk their cows and keep their farms running smoothly. But experts say farmers are often caught in a “don’t ask, don’t tell” web of federal employment regulations, with a strong incentive to know as little as possible about the legal status of their workers. Continue Reading

Rural immigration summit focuses on ‘invisible community’

DODGEVILLE — Rapid increases in the Latino population of Wisconsin’s rural areas are reshaping work, school and social life, but also are raising concerns that Spanish-speaking immigrants are often isolated and mistrusted, experts and residents said at an event aimed at fostering better connections between newcomers and long-time residents. Continue Reading