Midwest farmers expected to feel impact of new trade deal

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While the new trade deal involves three nations, its impact may be felt the most by dairy farmers of the Midwest.

Fox 9 caught up with one Wisconsin family who is fairly optimistic about the deal. 

For the Van Dyk family of West Croix Genetics in New Richmond, happy cows are priority. 

“If you don’t have cow comfort, you don’t feed ‘em right, you’ll be out of the dairy business in no time,” John Van Dyk said.

He and his family have been in the business for about 20 years. While he says a comfy cow is key to a fruitful dairy production, an open export market is key to a profitable dairy farm. 

“The American farmer has a tremendous ability to produce, but we need exports to help support that and meet our cost of production.” 

Van Dyk said the cost of production has only gone up the past years, and what they get for that product is going in the opposite direction. 

“Milk has been below cost of production for three years," he said.

He hopes the new trade agreement between Mexico and Canada will change that. 

“The U.S. consumers have the lowest cost on the food production for their income in the world and their farmers need to be able to get a return on their investment.” 

The new trade agreement aims to help American dairy farmers like Van Dyk compete with Canada and their export ability, while also opening up access to the market - giving the producer and the consumer more options. 

“We need Mexico and Canada. Dairy products, beef, pork - they’re large consumers.”

The agreement gives Van Dyk hope - hope they’ll be able to offset their production costs and hope that supply could finally reach demand. 

“You’ve got to have a passion for it. If you don’t love farming you better not be in it because it’s a tremendous amount of work and financing that it needs.”