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“Our Legacy” was the theme of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s 99th Annual Meeting and Young Farmer and Agriculturist Conference held at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells November 30-December 3.
To kick off the weekend, more than 480 young farmer members came together on Friday, November 30 for the YFA Conference. This is an opportunity for YFA members ages 18-35 from around the state to gather for social sharing and networking, to gain personal growth, leadership development and increased knowledge of current and future agriculture issues through quality speakers and workshop presenters. It is also a time to celebrate the accomplishments of individual YFA contest winners and county YFA programs.
Saturday evening featured the Farm Bureau Proud Banquet, when the YFA Conference converged with the WFBF Annual Meeting. Nearly 1,300 farmers and agriculturists from across Wisconsin attended the WFBF Annual Meeting to vote on policy, gather ideas from a variety of workshops and keynote speakers, and to network with other members from around the state.
“Our farming community knows they can count on Farm Bureau to stand up for them through our grassroots process. As we look to the future, there is no doubt in my mind that Farm Bureau will once again lead the way on the tough issues facing agriculture,” stated Jim Holte while addressing the group at the Saturday evening Farm Bureau Proud banquet.
On Monday, December 3rd, Farm Bureau delegates adopted the policies that will guide the legislative agenda for the state’s largest general farm organization in 2019. Resolutions were submitted by delegates as part of a grassroots policy development process.
Delegates from Dunn County included Brian Douglas, Kevin Gilbertson, and Tony Christopherson of Elk Mound, Carl Casper of Menomonie, and Marv Prestrud of Prairie Farm.
Delegates held a lengthy discussion on dairy policy with a majority of the discussion centered around supply management. With much consideration and conversation, delegates adopted “We are willing to consider a dairy supply management system.”
Other adopted dairy policy included support for revising the federal Milk Marketing Order.
Delegates from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s 61 county Farm Bureaus also voted to support: Differentiation between lab-grown meat and milk versus conventionally produced agriculture products; Milk from mammals should be the only product eligible to use standardized dairy labeling terms; Clarity on federally-defined terms such as organic versus non-federally defined terms such as natural and GMO-free; Requiring farm milk inspectors to provide consistent interpretations of regulations during inspections; Removing the wildlife damage payment cap; Better tracking and studying for relocated bear movement; The DNR to create subzones to better control overpopulated wildlife in small areas; Limiting use of the term blighted for productive farmland through eminent domain; Improving mental health resources for farmers; Transferring CAFO permitting from DNR to DACTP; More recycling of ag plastics; The right of farmers to be able to obtain necessary software and equipment to maintain their equipment.
On the federal level, delegates supported: USDA to equip bear traps with electronic monitor systems; Standardization when it comes to food expiration terms, such as: sell by, best by, use by.
The federal resolutions will be forwarded to the American Farm Bureau Federation for consideration at its annual convention next month.
At the close of the WFBF Annual Meeting, Elk Mound farmer, Jim Holte, was re-elected to his 7th one-year term as president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Rural Mutual Insurance Company.
Dunn County Farm Bureau is one of 61 county Farm Bureaus that make up the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. WFBF is the state’s largest general farm organization and it represents farms of all sizes, commodities and management styles.
For more information on the Dunn County Farm Bureau, call 877.457.8897 or visit http://wfbf.com/countyfarmbureaus/dunn/.