Coronavirus forces dairy farmers in Wisconsin to dump milk

Coronavirus forces dairy farmers in Wisconsin to dump milk

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About 7 o’clock Tuesday night, Golden E Dairy got the call that any dairy farmer would dread. They were being asked to dump 25,000 gallons of fresh milk a day because there was no place for it to go as the marketplace for dairy products has been gutted by the closure of restaurants, schools, hotels and food-service businesses.

An hour later, the family-run farm near West Bend opened the spigot and started flushing its milk into a wastewater lagoon — 220,000 pounds a day through next Monday.

It was surreal, said Ryan Elbe, whose parents, Chris and Tracey Elbe, started the farm in 1991 with about 80 cows and grew it into an operation that today milks 2,400.

“We thought this would never happen,” Elbe said. “Everybody’s rushing to the grocery store to get food, and we have food that’s literally being dumped down the drain.”

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By Javier Manning

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