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Wisconsin's dairy herd stays steady; farms' size increases

10:42 AM, Mar. 17, 2013
Kewaunee resident Nancy Utesch and UW-Green Bay Public Environmental Affairs Committee member Reed Thomas protest against the Dairy Business Association outside the KI Convention Center in Green Bay on Feb. 19, 2013.
Kewaunee resident Nancy Utesch and UW-Green Bay Public Environmental Affairs Committee member Reed Thomas protest against the Dairy Business Association outside the KI Convention Center in Green Bay on Feb. 19, 2013.
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It takes cows to be the nation's No. 1 producer of cheese, and the No. 2 producer of milk. Lots of them.

While the number of producing dairy cows in the state has stayed relatively flat - around 1.25 million - the average size of herds is getting larger as some farms are expanding to position their operations to stay competitive in the state's $26 billion dairy industry.

Others, however, have raised concerns about the toll larger operations can have on the country side and local economies. The trend, and the concerns, have been a long-running point of discussion both in the state and the wider ...

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