During the Depression, depressed prices paid by dairies and creameries for milk caused farm foreclosures and rural poverty. Tens of thousands of farmers banded together in the Wisconsin Farm Holiday Association and the more radical Wisconsin Co-operative Milk Pool, vowing to reduce supply and raise prices by withholding milk from the market.

Other farmers didn’t support those efforts, however. When in 1933 some activists resorted to intimidation and violence to disrupt the supply of milk, the state called out the National Guard. The troops responded with violence of their own. At least three farmers were killed in clashes among picketers, protesters and soldiers. The milk strikes lost momentum during November 1933, following the violence and increasing milk prices.

Reprinted from the Wisconsin Historical Society