Dairy Farmers and Workers Help Each Other Survive
John Rosenow is a fifth-generation dairy farmer, but times have changed since his Norwegian ancestors began farming in Cochrane, Wis. And Rosenow has changed with the times. Much of his workforce is now from Mexico, and Rosenow travels regularly to their village in southern Mexico to meet their families.
Rosenow’s business has grown. He and his workers now milk 550 cows, three times a day. Eight out of 20 hired laborers are from Mexico. Family and neighbors make up the rest.
“I’ve been called slave trader,” Rosenow said. “I’ve been called someone that runs an underground railroad and probably a whole lot of worse things behind my back. What I basically am is I’m a dairy farmer trying to make a living in a difficult industry.”
Since Rosenow has gone down, 150 other Wisconsin dairy farmers have followed.
“The employers realize that they owe these guys a lot more than just a paycheck,” Duvall said. “And so they become interested in their welfare and in their family’s welfare. And they are extremely marginalized in these communities. They’re some of the poorest places in all of Mexico.”
“It was quite a powerful experience to visit those people that are back there getting checks from their husband usually working up here,” Rosenow said.
Read the whole thing here: Dairy Farmers, Workers Help Each Other Survive There’s also an audio clip and more photos at the link.
Not many employers think they owe more than a paycheck to their employees. I agree with Erasmo; Rosenow es buena gente.