Press Release, January 31, 2020, Insurance Commissioner Afable Visits with Dairy Farmers in Cambridge to Highlight Insurance Challenges for Family Farms in Wisconsin

January, 31 2020

For more information contact Olivia Hwang, Director of Public Affairs, (608) 209-6309 or olivia.hwang@wisconsin.gov


Insurance Commissioner Afable Visits with Dairy Farmers in Cambridge to Highlight Insurance Challenges for Family Farms in Wisconsin

Cambridge, Wis. - Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable met with Angel and Chris Hebbe, owners of a small dairy farm in Cambridge, Wis., yesterday to talk about the challenges impacting small family farms across the state. This visit follows a commitment made by Governor Tony Evers during his State of the State address last week to help Wisconsin's struggling dairy industry. Gov. Evers also called on the Wisconsin Legislature to hold a special session on the dairy crisis.

“One thing is abundantly clear," said Commissioner Afable. “Folks like Angel and Chris Hebbe are committed to the farm they've built together and the life they are creating for their young daughter. They have invested in their community and are committed to being responsible stewards of the land. It is our responsibility at a state level to identify ways government can better support the family farms that gave Wisconsin the name the Dairy State.

“Chris and Angel were open with us about how the high cost of health insurance was a challenge for them in recent years, especially as they grew their family. Though we've made some progress with the state's reinsurance program, we have to do more to make sure every Wisconsinite has access to the affordable health care coverage and care that they need."

The Cedar View Dairy Farm run by the Hebbes dates back to 1901 when Chris' great, great grandparents, Herman and Anna, bought the farm. Since taking over the farm in 2013, the Hebbes have revitalized an old family dairy barn and are now milking 103 cattle, including Jerseys and Holsteins. The couple lives on the farm with their two-year-old daughter. They are also active in supporting the next generation of farmers by staying involved with 4-H and the local Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter.

Wisconsin's dairy crisis reached new heights last year when the state lost 10 percent of its dairy farms. Gov. Evers called on the legislature to pass an $8.5 million package of reforms to support farmers, including creating the Wisconsin Initiative for Dairy Exports, creating a regional mental health program to coordinate and provide mental health support in rural communities, bolstering Wisconsin's farm-to-school program and establishing a farm-to-fork program that will help connect farmers and the food they produce to universities, technical colleges, hospitals, and local businesses.

To download high-resolution photos from this week's visit to the Hebbe farm, click here https://www.flickr.com/gp/186680590@N03/Lo00Pr to access the OCI Flickr album.