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In the News: Staff Columns

Hottest ticket of the summer

Thursday, June 28, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: John Holevoet, director of government affairs
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For the third year in a row, DBA and our sister organization, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, will be hosting a series of policy picnics for members across Wisconsin. While “hottest ticket of the summer” might be an exaggeration in describing these events, they are informative and a lot of fun. Plus, they are free for members.

We have plenty to talk about. We’ll recap the Wisconsin legislative session and look back on DBA’s accomplishments from the past two years. We’ll also look at those issues that didn’t get resolved and discuss where we will be focused during the 2019-20 session.

Between now and then, we’ll also have an election. We’ll discuss all the big statewide races: governor, attorney general and U.S. Senate. We’ll examine any polling that is available and predict what might happen. We’ll also talk about our legislative races, identify the key seats to watch and talk about where the balance of power could end up in November. Several state seats are up in the air as is control of the Senate.

Finally, we will review federal priorities of DBA partner Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative: immigration reform, trade and the farm bill. All three of Edge’s top issues have been making headlines in recent weeks, so there will be a lot to discuss.
At the time of this writing, two immigration reform packages were voted down in the House of Representatives. Only one of the packages attempted to address agriculture’s labor concerns, but both votes show what a challenging issue this is for Congress. There is still a small chance that a third ag-specific bill will be given a vote in the House in July. Even if that bill advances, success in the House is no guarantee of success in the Senate.

Trade is on the minds of many in agriculture. There’s anxiety about new retaliatory tariffs from some of our most important trading partners. Cheese has been targeted by the Mexican government and yogurt by the Canadians. At the same time, the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement has stalled and there is no serious potential for any new bilateral agreements on the horizon.

Finally, we saw farm bill language introduced in the House. Although the bill failed on the first attempt, it returned for a second vote on the floor and passed. New Senate language is also proceeding quickly in a bipartisan fashion. There are new provisions designed to help dairy farmers in both versions of the bill, but the different versions will need to be reconciled with one another through a conference committee. At the picnics, we will compare the two bills and talk about the different routes the farm bill could take towards passage.

Please mark your calendars and RSVP to Lauren Brey at lbrey@voiceofmilk.com or call 920-883-0020 x107 for one of our summer policy picnics. Summerfest or the Brewers might give us a run for our money, but it is still a hot ticket for farmers who want to be in the know.

This year’s Policy Picnic schedule:

Tuesday, July 24
12-2 p.m. at Brossard Dairy Farm LLC., N9044 Basswood Rd., Beaver Dam, WI 53916

Wednesday, July 25
12-2 p.m. at Horsens Homestead Farm LLC, W1980 County Road C, Cecil, WI 54111

Thursday, July 26

12-2 p.m. at Five Star Dairy LLC, 2018 30th Street, Elk Mound, WI 54739
*Please note this is not being held at the dairy. Make sure to use 30th Street, NOT 30th Avenue*

Thursday, July 26
7-9 p.m. at On-Q Holsteins LLC E2555 County Road Q, Ringle, WI 54471

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