The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Eleven FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative members from Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota will be receiving a disaster claim payment for milk loss as a result of blocked roadways due to snow, barn collapse due to heavy snow and a barn fire. This wave of payments totals more than $21,000 bringing the grand total for disaster payments during 2019 to more than $45,000 for 44 cooperative members.

“There are a variety of risk management tools available to dairy farmers; however, this is surely a valuable benefit to our dairy farmers which they automatically receive as a FarmFirst member,” says John Rettler, dairy farmer from Neosho, Wis. and president of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative. “Our board consists of dairy farmers that understand these situations are difficult to plan for and often impossible to prevent. Clearly, FarmFirst’s disaster benefits program fills a need for our members that goes beyond our everyday services.”

The cooperative’s disaster benefits program provides payments to FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative members who have experienced milk income loss due to the death of a cow by either lightning or electrocution, the loss of electric power or due to impassable roads due to snow or flooding.

“Weather-related disasters can take many different forms, and this past winter had its own share that impacted Midwest dairy farms. While FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative believes in representing dairy farmers in Washington D.C. on federal dairy issues, our cooperative leadership also understands that other programs like this can add tremendous value to affected farmers. Dairy farmers have a diverse set of needs when it comes to service and representation, and FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative is proud to be able to meet many of those needs,” says Rettler.

The Disaster Benefit Program is a unique benefit for FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative members. For more information on the disaster benefits program, please visit the webpage ‘Disaster Benefits for FarmFirst Members’ available under ‘Member Services’ on FarmFirst’s website (

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, established in 2013 and based in Madison, Wis., represents farmers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana by providing legislative and regulatory advocacy, dairy marketing services, disaster protection, laboratory testing opportunities and industry promotion. FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative is a merger of three long-time prominent Wisconsin based cooperatives. Learn more about FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative by visiting: