DBA is grassroots. You determine our focus
Friday, September 6, 2019
Posted by: Joanna Guza, marketing & digital comm. manager
From Tom Crave, DBA president
As farmers, we are eternal optimists. The weather will get better. Milk prices will improve. The harvest will be bountiful. We push forward, we show up and we handle it — whatever “it” is —because that’s what farmers do.
But it can be hard to ignore the negativity. You cannot open up a newspaper or look on social media without stories about the dairy crisis or environmental concerns with agriculture.
We have assembled a great team at DBA to work proactively on these challenges in hopes that the optimism of farmers will continue to guide the dairy community and encourage others to have more hope.
Starting in late 2018, in advance of two-year state budget process, the DBA policy committee and board of directors determined several key budget and policy priorities that would positively affect the dairy community as a whole.
In early 2019, our team began to meet with legislators, their staffs and other trade groups to push our ideas and gain feedback. In April, along with more than 50 dairy farmers, I participated in the first Dairy Day at the Capitol where we met with dozens of legislators and their staffs face-to-face.
We spent the spring and early summer continuing to engage with policymakers, encouraging them to consider pro-dairy legislation and budget items. Thanks to our efforts, there were many positive outcomes in the final state budget. There is more work to be done, as there always is.
In July, we embarked on a roadshow across the state when we hosted four “Policy Picnics” at member farms. The DBA policy team and that of our sister organization, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, shared our positions on state and federal issues, but most importantly we listened to you.
This is what it means to be a grassroots. Our positions on important issues are not made in a vacuum, they are made by you. Members share feedback, testify at hearings, serve on committees and take part in other engagement opportunities.
Our positions are not about serving a certain sector of the dairy community, they are about moving dairy forward for all farm sizes and management philosophies. As one farmer recently said at a Policy Picnic, “We all make milk in the end.”
In these uncertain times, and for the foreseeable future, it’s going to take involvement from everyone to create stability and sensible regulation for the dairy community.
Best wishes for a bountiful harvest and please join us at World Dairy Expo for our member events on Oct. 3.