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Chilton, WI—Within the past six months, decisions by two entities which operate large dairy cow operations in several states have coalesced to create the possibility that a Calumet county township with a human population of about 1,300 will soon become “the dairy goat capital of the world.”
That’s the phrase town of Brothertown board chairman Chuck Schneider has used to describe the recent developments in a township which once had dozens of family dairy farms on which much of the agricultural land has become a hub for growing processing vegetable crops such as peas, snap beans, and sweet corn in recent decades. Winter wheat is frequently grown as part of the crop rotation.
If the plans of two dairy goat entrepreneurs reach fruition, the southwest Calumet county township which lies on the east shore of Lake Winnebago will be the home of well over a dozen dairy goats per human resident.
For most of the 1900s, Calumet county had more dairy cows than human residents.
As of January 1, a statistical survey indicated that Wisconsin continued to be the top state in dairy goat population with 44,000 head, or about 12 percent of the nation’s total.
Yet processors within the state and on its periphery report that the area’s supply of goat milk is
meeting only about 60 percent of the market demand for cheese and other products.
According to the Wisconsin Dairy Plant Directory 2015-2016, there are 27 plants that handle goat milk in the state, up from just six that were listed in the 1999/2000 directory.
For both of the new ventures in Calumet county, there is a ready outlet for goat milk at the LaClare Farms processing plant only a few miles away near Pipe in northeast Fond du Lac county. LaClare has its own milking goat herd of more than 500 head with plans to increase that number.
Milk Source Inc. Dairy Goats
The first dairy goat venture in Brothertown, titled as Chilton Dairy, began earlier this year on the former dairy farm operated by Todd Meyer. The herd’s approximately 1,100 dairy cattle were sold at an auction in early December.
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