Iowa lawmakers considering bill that addresses dairy labor challenges

Iowa lawmakers are considering legislation to address labor challenges facing dairy farmers in the state.

Iowa State Dairy Association executive director Mitch Schulte says companion bills in the House and Senate would provide grants to help with on-farm and local processing.

“Getting some dollars out to those farmers to start some new operations or expand what they have. And it also deals with the same deal as being grants or some sort of forgivable loan to go toward labor-reducing technology out on farms.”

He tells Brownfield that could be robotics, manure pushers, automatic feeding systems, or updating parlors to become more modern and efficient.

“It’s a great opportunity for our farmers.”

Schulte says the legislation has “overwhelming support” and has moved out of subcommittees in both chambers.

Iowa is home to nearly 850 dairy farms that milk about 220,000 cows.