La Crosse County, Wisconsin -- Saturday, June 15, 2019
With cheese samples, Karen and Sidney Jerome walk through several displays at the La Crosse County dairy breakfast. The Jeromes worked a dairy farm up until 2001 when they began to raise their grandchildren after the death of their daughter. "We’re always holding hands," Karen Jerome said.
As the American dairy industry struggles through low milk prices and a declining market, the La Crosse County dairy breakfast brought famers and community members together to celebrate the industry and way of life in western Wisconsin. After the event was cancelled in March, the previous year’s host — the Peterson family at Creamery Creek Holsteins near Bangor — offered to bring the breakfast back to their 675-head dairy farm.
Wisconsin, whose state identity is closely tied to the dairy industry, has seen an unprecedented decline in the number of dairy farms operating within its borders. Despite the celebratory mood of the breakfast, many worry that the industry’s decline will mark the end of the annual events.
CREDIT: Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times