Wis. produces record 3.37B pounds of cheese

FILE - In this July 22, 2016, file photo, cheese ages on poplar wood at a farm near Pipe, Wis. Wisconsin strengthened its hold as the nation's top cheese maker by producing a record 3.37 billion pounds in 2017. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Wisconsin accounted for about 26 percent of the 12.7 billion pounds of cheese produced in the U.S. last year. (AP Photo/Bryna Godar, File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin strengthened its hold as the nation’s top cheese maker by producing a record 3.37 billion pounds last year.

Organic dairies struggle with low milk prices

This photo taken March 2, 2018, shows dairy cows gathered around the feeder for a snack after milking at the Dykstra farm north of Burlington. Conventional dairy farms have been struggling for years. Until recently, Dykstra said it seemed organic dairy farms were somewhat shielded from the volatility of the conventional market. Now, organic dairies are struggling alongside conventional dairies, further adding to the impact on the local agriculture economy. (Charles Biles /Skagit Valley Herald via AP)

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — Just off Cook Road east of Interstate 5 sits an unused 80-acre plot of land with the outline of a 49,000-square-foot building drawn in gravel.

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