Looking for solutions to improve life on the dairy farm. During a time of economic crisis for the industry, that's no small task.
The Minnesota Farmer's Union marked Dairy month with a Rural Dairy Discussion in Mazeppa on Wednesday morning.
The union says smaller, family dairy farmers are threatened by consistently low milk prices, and this serves as a chance for them to share what they think would help.
Those in attendance said that low dairy prices don't just affect the farmers, but affect small, local communities even harder.
"We're seeing a lot of communities that are just dying away because they have no farm," said Patty Edelburg, the National Farmers Union vice president. "People are leaving the cities to go, leaving the communities to go to larger cities to work. There's not enough jobs in these small communities for people that aren't farming."
Other farmers and union leaders said that they are looking for ways to help control the supply and demand dairy markets.
But Edelburg said the bottom line is that change is necessary to help small and medium-sized dairy farmers, who have faced an economic crisis over the past three years.
"The price of milk is well below our cost of production, and it's just making everything really tough," Edelburg said. "Tough to pay labor, tough to pay seed, tough to pay bills in general."
Wednesday's discussion was the second listening session hosted by the Minnesota Farmers Union. The union held it's first discussion in Paynesville, Minn. on Tuesday.
Union representatives said that they heard many of the same concerns today as yesterday, and are ready to bring all of them to state and federal lawmakers.