Lessons in shared humanity from Wisconsin’s dairy farmers and Mexican workers
Keywords:Farmworkers, Dairy Industry, Immigration, Farm Labor, Rurality
"Numbers numb, but stories stir,” as the saying goes. As a journalist and the editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Examiner, Ruth Conniff is well aware of the power of human-interest narratives to grab readers’ attention and illustrate social trends. Her first book, Milked: How an American Crisis Brought Together Midwestern Dairy Farmers and Mexican Workers, attempts to harness this power by exploring the personal motivations of dairy farmers in Wisconsin, Mexican workers on their farms, and the Mexican-American families of the workers.
The book is a biographical project spanning both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, with Conniff spending one year in Oaxaca, Mexico, beginning in 2017. In addition to farmers and their workers, she interviews interpreters who have served as intermediaries between the two groups, including on trips that dairy farmers have taken to Mexico to visit workers’ families. She also interviews a few well-known advocates and politicians, whose perspectives are presented in the book’s final chapters. . . .
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