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 700 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 669 million dollars each year. Approximately $223 million is generated from Kewaunee County’s dairy farms.
Farms occupy and utilize approximately 80% of the land in Kewaunee County. There are over 100 dairy farms milking 55,000 cows for an average of 529 cows per farm.
Milk production per cow has risen to 27,200 pounds per cow for a total of 1.496 billion pounds of milk each year. Milk production has more than doubled since 2005 and is greater than the state average production of 24,884 pounds per cow.
Approximately 2,800 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, dairy 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 UW-Madison Division of Extension. The Division of Extension is a source of unbiased, research-based information. Examples of agricultural programs in Kewaunee County include dairy herd management, forage, and crop production, water quality education, nutrient management and application training, private pesticide applicator training, on-farm research, and outreach from the three agriculture universities in the state. Dairy producers in Kewaunee County state that changes they made on their farms because of the Division of Extension education have helped them remain in business.