82° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds

Calif. drought could help Wis. farmers

Published On: Feb 26 2014 10:17:03 PM CST


President Barack Obama announced help with millions of dollars in livestock and food pantry aid but California farmers say that help won't do them much good now.

But could that drought 2,000 miles away actually help farmers here in the Badger state?

"I hate to say that someone's misfortune is going to be our benefit," said Pat O'Brien, a fourth generation farmer. His family's dairy farm has been on Seminole and Lacy roads since 1899.

Two time zones away, O'Brien said the Badger State will get the business when California can't produce.

"Since last year we have seen some good reasonable milk prices, and I think with the problems in California, that is just going to continue. California has to buy all of their feed and they don't have the investment in the infrastructure like we do," O'Brien said.

Dairy farmers in Wisconsin went through a severe drought in 2012 so they can understand what California is going through right now, but they do say there are distinct advantages of having a dairy farm in Wisconsin over California.

“Wisconsin is Americas' dairyland for a reason. When something like this happens to California with the drought they are having, it exemplifies what we have going for us," said Casey Langan, spokesman for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

Back at the O'Brien farm, workers will retool their facility with the extra cash hoping to ensure it is around for generations to come.

"We have the cows, we have the people, we have the climate and the feed, which is a big thing. We have a lot of advantages here in Wisconsin," O'Brien said.

  • Buddy Check 3

    Learn more about Buddy Check and sign up to get a reminder to perform a self-exam and remind your friends to do the same.

  • Jack in Madison

    Jack in Madison

    Your pet photos

    Email us a picture of you and your pet and we'll use it in out Pet Walk segment which airs every weekday morning at 6:40. Include your name, your pet's name and where you're from. Email to

  • Time for Kids - Explore the Outdoors

    Dean Clinic and WISC-TV3 are focusing on a year-long campaign to get kids off their electronics and into the outdoors.