Author

Marc Eisen

Marc Eisen

Marc Eisen is a Madison freelance writer and editor who is seriously worried that flea beetles will once again devastate his backyard horseradish crop. 

Cows graze on the Tranel Family Farm, Organic Valley farmer-member (photo courtesy of Organic Valley)

Organic Valley struggles, then surges in turbulent dairy market

By: - April 20, 2020

 Here’s more evidence of the hard times — but also of new hope — in farm country.          Organic Valley, the nationally known organic farmers co-op headquartered in LaFarge, lost money for the third straight year in 2019, but observers say its economic performance has improved and more importantly organic milk sales are unexpectedly zooming […]

Clear milk glass from Pixabay

Which way to turn?

By: - February 3, 2020

(Part two in a two-part series.) Mark Kastel, a passionate organic farming watchdog, lays out the crisis that is chipping away at the moral high ground occupied by organic food. Consumers pay a premium price for federally certified organic farm goods, he says, not just for the selfish reason of protecting their own health from […]

Organic food crisis threatens Wisconsin dairy farmers

By: - January 31, 2020

(This is part one in a two-part series.) “The last two years have not been smooth sailing,” Ron Miller, general manager of the R&G Miller & Sons farm, says carefully when I ask how the family’s organic dairy farm is faring. The Columbus-area farmer, one of six Miller family members running a venerable homestead farm […]

COMMENTARY
Holstein cows in a barn at the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station's north campus near Stratford, Wis., Wednesday afternoon, July 11, 2018. Photo by Michael P. King/UW-Madison CALS

Dairy farmers are in crisis. Lawmakers need to rally round.

By: - July 18, 2019

Pete Hardin, an intrepid farm reporter, had been chronicling the dairy crisis for four years when in early February he came across more evidence of its devastating impact: An estimated 32% of Wisconsin dairy farmers hadn’t secured spring planting loans. That’s what was reported at the annual meeting of the Land O’ Lakes farm cooperative. […]