The Christian Science Monitor

A bridge for the divide between Midwestern farmers and their immigrant workers

Dairy farmer John Rosenow (r.) talks with one of his workers, Roberto Acahua. Source: Richard Mertens

On the farm of Nettie and John Rosenow, folded in the hills of western Wisconsin, 18 massive Holstein cows file in to be milked, jostling and pushing as they find a place. Mr. Rosenow lends a hand, prodding with a broom handle, while a young man wearing rubber gloves and boots moves quickly up and down the line, disinfecting each cow and attaching the milking machines’ rubber cups.

Rosenow has been up since 3:30 a.m., slipping out before dawn “just to check things out.” Born and bred a dairy farmer – he’s the fifth generation of Rosenows here – he began milking cows when just a boy. But he seldom milks anymore. He spends his days selling cow-manure compost – a profitable sideline on the Rosenow farm – while 20 employees do the farm’s heavy work: milking a herd of more than 500 cows, scraping manure, hauling feed and sawdust bedding, filling bags of compost, tending calves, and watching over the maternity shed, where on this day

Three other groups involved in food issues

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