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Farmers face obstacles away from the fields

Joe Haberli loves tending to his 250 cows and 1500 acres at Haberli Farms in Egg Harbor, but he is concerned about the future of farming in Brown, Door, and Kewaunee Counties. Haberli cites a number of factors to why the average age of farmers has crept up steadily over the years and why even some are discouraging their kids from following in their footsteps. Low prices, higher costs, the unwillingness of banks to give loans, and the shortage of labor are just some of the reasons why farms are closing their doors by the hundreds every year without even factoring in the success of the crops or animals. Haberli hopes his 13-year-old son continues to love working on the farm with him, but he says college is a must.

Haberli is also disappointed that middlemen between farmers and consumers continue to rake in profits even as the appreciation of where food comes from and commodity prices drop.

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