Latest News & Views

Study: Quarter of U.S. jobs tied to agriculture

More than a fifth of the U.S. economy and a quarter of American jobs are either directly or indirectly tied to the food and agriculture sectors, according to a new study commissioned by industry groups.

The study estimates that more than 43 million jobs and $1.9 trillion in total wages are linked to the two sectors, which contribute some $894 billion in taxes. The food and agriculture sectors together account for $146 billion in exports, the study found. Read more here.

Dairy co-op rebrands itself to give farmers an edge

GREEN BAY, Wis.   — Milk is getting a new voice in America’s Heartland. Meet Edge, the dairy farmer cooperative taking a fresh approach to representing its members.

Edge, formerly known as the Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, has been a game-changer for dairy farmers since its inception in 2010.

“Edge is now representative of the growth and evolution our cooperative has undergone over the past seven years. It’s also a promise of the future,” said John Pagel, a Wisconsin dairy farmer and president of Edge. “We put our members at the forefront of the discussions, giving dairy farmers a voice in matters critical to their businesses and their communities.” Read more here.

DBA wins settlement in lawsuit against DNR

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Dairy Business Association secured a settlement in its lawsuit against the state Department of Natural Resources for legal overreach on regulations.
The settlement, reached Wednesday between the association and DNR, will bring immediate relief for dairy farmers facing uncertainty and costly changes, and will provide assurance that the DNR will create future rules only according to the law.
The dairy group prevailed on the central claims of the suit — that the DNR illegally changed rules for how farmers manage rainwater that comes into contact with feed storage and calf hutch areas. Read more here.

Demonstration network focuses on sustainability

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor
Farmers in Kewaunee and southern Door counties are teaming up with multiple partners to study and demonstrate conservation practices to protect groundwater and surface water in the region.
The Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farm Network is a partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Door and Kewaunee Land Conservation Departments and Peninsula Pride Farms, a farmer-led organization. The network was officially launched with a Sept. 7 field day at the Deer-Run Dairy LLC near Kewaunee, one of four farms participating in the network. The other participants include: Augustian Farms LLC in Kewaunee, Brey Cycle Farm LLC in Sturgeon Bay and Kinnard Farms in Casco. Read more here.

Proposed manure rule change worries farmers

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor
If the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources restricts manure application in certain regions of the state, farmer Rob Kiehneau is afraid his small Door County dairy will close.
Kiehneau, who milks between 60 and 70 cows and grows crop at his Egg Harbor farm, said about 75 percent of his farm rests on land with less than 2 feet of soil to bedrock. Under proposed changes to NR 151, farms with less than 2 feet of soil to bedrock would not be able to spread manure. Read more here.

Science proves rbST is safe

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor
You would not know it by today’s marketing campaigns and headlines, but recombinant bovine somatrotropin, or rbST, has been used safely in cows since the 1990s.
Cows naturally produce bovine somatotropin (bST) – which tells their bodies to produce milk. In 1993, the Federal Drug Administration approved the use of rbST in animals after researchers developed and tested rbST for more than 10 years. Chris Galen, senior vice president for communication for the National Milk Producers Federation, said a cow’s body treats and processes rbST the same way as it does bST and other protein hormones. Read more here.