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Pandemic adds another challenge for local farmers

Dan Diederich
Posted at 2:46 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 19:22:00-04

DE PERE (NBC 26) -- It's been a tough few years for local farmers.

Now, the coronavirus pandemic has created another challenge.

“The milk price has taken a massive beating," De Pere farmer Dan Diederich said. “The use of cheese and butter has decreased substantially.”

Diederich said that with milk prices down dramatically, he's trying to get help any way possible. Diederich Farms did receive funding in the Paycheck Protection Program, and Diederich is now looking at Economic Injury Disaster Loans as an option. He says the help is good, but farmers do and will need more.

“It is frustrating because money today is more important than money in six months," he said. "There’s a lot of farmers that are really struggling and can’t pay our bills. Having this money faster would be a huge benefit because we don’t need it six months from now, we need it today.”

Diederich hopes that process can be sped up. Right now, Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available only to agricultural businesses. Diederich recommends other farmers talk to their bankers and get in line for funding as soon as possible.