Dairyland Diversity

Immigrant dairy workers transform a rural Wisconsin community
Immigrant dairy workers transform a rural Wisconsin community

An influx of immigrants into Wisconsin’s dairy industry is giving a new Hispanic flavor to rural areas.

Wisconsin dairy farms are growing — along with their immigrant work forces
Wisconsin dairy farms are growing — along with their immigrant work forces

Wisconsin’s dairies are expanding, and they can’t do it without immigrant labor. Part 5 in our Dairyland Diversity project.

Immigrants help Wisconsin dairy farms. Will Congress help them?
Immigrants help Wisconsin dairy farms. Will Congress help them?

Dairy farmers say they want access to immigrant workers without getting into legal trouble. But many lawmakers on Capitol Hill are running away from the issue.

Undocumented and driving without a license
Undocumented and driving without a license

Drivers beware: There’s a woman driving a stretch of Interstate 90 between Sparta and Tomah — without a license or any training about Wisconsin’s traffic laws.

A delicate existence: Undocumented Wisconsin dairy farm workers
A delicate existence: Undocumented Wisconsin dairy farm workers

They traveled 1,720 miles to work long hours on a dairy farm in western Wisconsin, among people who do not speak their language and in a place where their presence is illegal. Part 3 in our Dairyland Diversity project.

Immigrants now 40 percent of state’s dairy workforce

A growing number of Wisconsin dairy farmers are relying on immigrants to milk their cows and keep their farms running smoothly. But experts say farmers are often caught in a “don’t ask, don’t tell” web of federal employment regulations, with a strong incentive to know as little as possible about the legal status of their workers.

More Stories: Page 1 of 11

Project: Dairyland Diversity

Slideshow: A community transformed (New!)

Graphics: Bigger farms, more immigrants

Fifteen years ago, Wisconsin had just a handful of the biggest dairy farms. Today there are more than 175. Explore our interactive graphs and a map that show how big farms have blossomed all over Wisconsin -- along with immigrant labor.

Dairyland Diversity: Reports from our partners

Wisconsin Public Radio: A report coordinated with WCIJ's Part 5. Morning Edition, News and Classical Music stations, May 26, 2010

Wisconsin Public Television's "Here and Now": Farmers discuss immigrant workers' future July 24, 2009

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