Local dairy farmer fights back against tariffs Submitted: 07/30/2018
Story By Erin Beu

Local dairy farmer fights back against tariffs
PHILLIPS - People don't get into dairy farming for fame or fortune.

It's a challenging job 365 days a year.

But a battle between the US and China seems to be making that job even harder.

Before Jon Pesko worked on the United Pride Dairy Farm in Phillips, his dad did, and his dad before that.

"You're always trying to leave it better than what you came with," said Pesko.

Even though he co-owns a large farm with 2,400 cows, these days he's working more hours for less profit.

"You start pinching the pocket book," said Pesko.

President Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods led China to retaliate and put tariffs on American products, including milk.

"That automatically lowers our prices on milk," said Pesko.

Pesko has a large enough farm that he can handle the hit for now, but smaller farms haven't been so lucky.

The Trump Administration added a temporary $12 billion program to help offset the estimated $11 billion losses farmers have faced from the tariffs.

"I'm not sure why the American farmers have to pay anytime this happens," said Pesko.

The goal of the program is to help tide farmers over until better trade deals until the US can renegotiate its trade deals with those other countries.

"No matter what we make, it needs to be sold," said Pesko.

Pesko says he won't be happy until tariffs are gone and he can see a bounce back in sales, "The world is hungry and we need to feed that world."

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, last year Wisconsin lost 500 dairy farms and about 150 have quit milking cows so far this year.

Pesko hopes the tariffs will end soon or he fears more farms could shut down, too.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


ST. GERMAIN - A mother's car rolled over several times into a ditch in St. Germain on Monday.  Karen Ives, 51, was thrown from the car along with one of her three children.  Miraculously they all survived.
Wednesday, the Vilas County Sheriff's Office revealed Ives' identity and more details about the crash.

Police responded to the one-car crash on Highway 70 around 4:40 p.m April 22.  Ives and her six-year-old child were thrown from the car.  Two other children, ages 8 and 12, stayed in the car.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Going to college can be expensive, but one organization is working to help Rhinelander students pay for the costs. 

The Rhinelander Area Scholarship Foundation gives students the opportunity to apply for scholarship money.

Foundation president Jeanne Stephens said they award thousands of dollars in scholarships each year.

"The community has really embraced this," said Stephens. "Last year, we gave out over $300,000 worth of scholarships to local graduates."

Stephens said she has an upcoming fundraiser for the award money. 

The next one is Thursday night at Brown Street 151 in Rhinelander. 

+ Read More

Play Video

ONEIDA COUNTY - Both attorneys in Robin Mendez's murder trial delivered closing arguments Wednesday.  

Now Mendez's future is in the hands of Judge Jill Falstad. 

After seven days of hearing testimony, Falstad will decide if Mendez is guilty of killing his wife Barbara in 1982.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - The Antigo Public Library will get some unplanned improvements after a car crashed through one of its walls last December. Construction work to repair the damage began this week, since work couldn't take place during the winter months. 

Back in December someone accidentally crashed into the library's meeting room, causing $43,000 worth of damage. No one was hurt and insurance is covering the repair cost. 

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - Last year out-of-home placements for children in Langlade Co. went way up, causing the county to exceed its budget by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Dozens of people came together in Antigo to learn more about the root of that problem on Wednesday. 

"We work really hard every single day, trying to get ahead of methamphetamine, trying to get ahead of opioid abuse," said Langlade Co. District Attorney Elizabeth Gerbert.

+ Read More

DE PERE - A historic building in De Pere that housed a restaurant, apartments, a yoga studio and photography business, has been destroyed by massive fire.

Firefighters rushed to the scene about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday and found smoke in the Ogan restaurant on the first floor.

Fire Chief Alan Matzke says about 20 people living in second-floor apartments were evacuated and all made it out safely. As crews fought the fire, the structure, more than 100 years old, began to collapse, so firefighters worked to keep the blaze from spreading to an adjacent building.

+ Read More

MADISON - Gov. Tony Evers and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin say federal military officials have agreed to review how the Wisconsin National Guard handles sexual assault after members alleged harassment, assault and retaliation for reporting incidents.

Evers and Baldwin asked the National Guard Bureau's Office of Complex Investigations in March to review the Wisconsin Guard's sexual assault and harassment reporting procedures and accountability measures.

+ Read More
+ More General News