Support local businesses at regional events?

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A cold glass of milk on a hot summer day, free at the Wisconsin State Fair. How fitting, especially since Wisconsin is widely known as America's Dairyland. Too bad that free milk, sponsored by Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, is going to be bought from Kemps, a dairy based in Minnesota.

Hello? Have we no pride in this fine state? You might be thinking, "well it's free so who are you to complain?" FREE SCHMEE!!! I don't even drink milk but I think this is an outrage. I'm sorry... at the Wisconsin State Fair if we're giving away anyone's milk, it should be Wisconsin's milk. At an event celebrating a region and its history, it only makes sense to support local businesses.

I'm sure Kemps will tell us that lots of their milk is in fact sourced from Wisconsin farmers, so there is no need to worry. I don't buy into that thinking. I think that at the State Fair, of all places, the milk should come from a Wisconsin dairy. After all, much of the State Fair is focused on agriculture, and it has been since the beginning. It is a place where farmers from all over the state come to compete with their animals and crops. If we can't, on this one occasion, make a concerted effort to buy from and promote locally owned and operated businesses, that's a sad statement about our priorities.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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