An Algoma, Wisconsin, couple has started a GoFundMe campaign in the hopes to keep their small dairy farm up and running.
After Dale and Karen Cihlar started having trouble paying their bills and were not able to secure a loan, they decided to turn to the internet for help. And so far it’s helping. The couple has raised $12,290 of their $35,000 goal.
“Wanting to follow in his fathers’ footsteps, Dale is a fourth generation dairy farmer. Unfortunately, Dale is close to going out of business due to low milk prices and tough economic times. With having some bad luck with cows and not milking a full heard of 40 cows, we need more animals to get more milk but cow prices average between $1,200 to $1,600 per cow,” Karen wrote on her GoFundMe page. “Financially we would be in a better situation if we weren’t forced to install a manure storage facility six years ago, which brought a huge burden to the farm and family to pay this off, we struggle monthly to make this $1,600 a month payment along with all the other farm expenses.”
Karen’s GoFundMe post titled Wife of a Dairy Farmer goes into detail on how the money would keep their dairy going:
“To Dale, this is more than just a business, this is his home, livelihood, way of life and his passion. He has been to multiple loan officers who tell him they are not at this time loaning to dairy farmers because of low projected low milk prices. In 2014 milk prices were in the low $24.00 per hundred weight base price. Now milk prices are projected to go down to $14.00 per hundred weight, that is a loss of $10.00 per hundred weight in four years, how are small dairy farmers supposed to keep going? We need more animals and extra hay right now to help get things going again and not lose the family farm that has been going strong since 1873! Please donate to help keep this farm going for more generations to come, the money will go to purchase new animals, hay and anything over would be applied to the farm loans.”
The couple says in addition to monetary support, they have received several letters of encouragement. For every letter and donation they receive, Karen sends back a thank you note.