In considering the economic potential of Kewaunee County, businesses and industries can rely upon the agricultural component of a very sound economy that generates significant purchasing power and an opportunity for service and retail businesses.
The families living on over 900 farms are a source of an excellent labor pool that helps meet the needs of industries located within the county. Commonly, the men and women living on the farms seek additional employment. They are a labor force that works in the industries and businesses that have a growing need for workers.
The economic impact of agriculture in Kewaunee County is over 80 million dollars each year. Approximately $65 million is generated from Kewaunee County’s dairy farms.
Kewaunee County farms occupy over 175,000 acres of land in Kewaunee County. This equates to an average farm size of 181 acres per farm. Of these farms, over 300 are dairy farms milking 27,500 cows for an average of 80 cows per farm.
Milk production per cow has risen to 18,100 pounds per cow for a total of 497,750,000 pounds of milk each year. Milk production has increased by 9% since 1990 and is greater than the state average production of 17,300 pounds per cow.
Approximately 2,300 jobs in Kewaunee County are directly tied to agriculture. Besides jobs working directly on farms, Kewaunee County’s dairy industry supports a number of agri-business professionals including veterinarians, hoof trimmers, nutritionists, agronomists, crop consultants, milk haulers, cheese processors, breeding technicians, custom harvesters, custom heifer growers and farm management consultants.
A key component to help dairy producers remain profitable is the educational programs provided by the University of Wisconsin Extension in Kewaunee County. The Extension Service is a source of unbiased, research based information. Examples of agricultural programs in Kewaunee County include annual herd health, nutrition and dairy modernization seminars, field days, demonstrations and facility tours. In addition, phone consultation and farm visits are key components. Dairy producers in Kewaunee County state that changes they made on their farms as a result of UW-Extension education have helped them remain in business.