October 29, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

Wisconsin dairy farmers are having a cow over the Julia Roberts-Nick Nolte romantic comedy, I Love Trouble. When shooting began in Portage, Wis. (pop. 9,000), 25 farmers in tractors, trucks, and manure spreaders picketed Trouble‘s set. What’s their beef? The locals are upset about reports that Roberts and Nolte are playing journalists who uncover a dairy scandal. ”It’s a public-perception thing,” says state representative Ben Brancel. ”(The film) sheds poor light on the dairy industry.”

Uncowed by the protest, Disney issued a standard ”Persons and events depicted in this motion picture are fictitious” statement. Meanwhile, the aura of Hollywood was not lost on the locals. ”I shook (Julia’s) hand,” says protest organizer John Mueller. ”I’m not washing it for a month. She’s beautiful.”

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