MILWAUKEE (AP) -- After a bleak period for farmers, Wisconsin's dairy industry is on the rise.
Wisconsin Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the state's $27 billion dairy industry has been in recovery mode lately.
Those farmers who were able to get through 2009 -- the worst year -- have been rebuilding their equity and paying down debt.
The trend of Wisconsin losing thousands of dairy farms a year also has slowed.
As of Dec. 1, Wisconsin had 11,786 licensed milk cow herds -- down 681 from December 2010. That's less of a decline than in previous years when farm-milk prices plummeted and farmers liquidated their herds and shut down their businesses.
But more people are now showing an interest in dairy farming as exports bolster the industry's growth.
Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com
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