A fading way of life: Facing reduced returns and the lack of interest in purchasing farms, many farmers are opting to retire amid the struggles, reports the Reedsburg Times-Press.

Fourth-generation farmer, Jim Goodman decided to make 2018 the last year he made his living farming, he told the Reedsburg Times-Press.

He farmed at Northwood Organic Farm in Wonewoc, where he milked 45 cows a day and grew crops. Goodman said the decision to close the farm came from declining milk prices and no one around to purchase it.

He was receiving $42 per hundred weight in April 2014. His last milk check four years later was about half that, at $23-$24, he said. First went the cows, then the land, as Goodman sought a way out of farming struggles.

Goodman, 65, isn’t the only farmer that’s decided to hang up his hat and put his boots away after decades in the industry, reports the Reedsburg Times-Press.

The state lost 638 dairy farms last year and as of Nov. 2019, 718 dairy farms closed. The state leads the nation in farm bankruptcies with 45 farms declaring Chapter 12 bankruptcy in the past year.

Read more about the fate of Wisconsin farms here