This morning, the Dairy Business Association and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative made sure the state knows that we oppose a move that would be unfair to Wisconsin businesses, including dairy farms.
The Department of Health Services had been considering proactively releasing the names of businesses where workers have tested positive for the coronavirus and health officials are investigating. The agency, which is being pressed for the information by the news media and others, has apparently decided to hold off for now.
In a letter sent to Gov. Tony Evers, our organizations stressed that the reputations of farms, other businesses and employees could be irreparably damaged. We know the extraordinary efforts our members are making to keep workers safe while continuing the essential task of producing safe and nutritious dairy products day in and day out.
“We realize that public records laws could ultimately limit your ability to keep all information private,” the letter states. “However, we strongly encourage you and your administration to make every effort to protect Wisconsin’s dairy farms and other businesses from undue harm. As critical as it is for farmers to work around the clock, it’s equally important that they not be discredited through no fault of their own.”
Ultimately, whether the information is made public could come down to an interpretation of the law.
As our sister organizations continue to work for you in Wisconsin and Washington, we will remain on the lookout to protect your livelihoods.