Fischer: Allow peaceful, law-abiding immigrants out of the shadows

By Laurie Fischer
For MAA
Milk is one of the most common and essential items on any American consumer’s grocery list. However, before it ever reaches your local grocery store shelf, the safe and abundant production of milk involves many steps — including top-quality animal care, modern milking procedures, state-of-the-art logistics and health-conscious food processing.
Each step provides much-needed jobs to both rural and urban communities and pours billions of dollars into our economy. A great deal hinges on the viability of the U.S. dairy industry, not the least of which are providing safe, nutritional food products to families throughout the world and employing hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans.

Continue reading “Fischer: Allow peaceful, law-abiding immigrants out of the shadows”

Baldwin: Fairness for our farmers

By Senator Tammy Baldwin
For MAA
Wisconsin’s dairy industry is a key driver of our state’s agricultural economy and a core part of our rural communities.

Our dairy farmers work every day to ensure that their milk meets high standards for nutritional value and quality. Unfortunately, imitation products have gotten away with using dairy’s good name for their own benefit, taking advantage of the effort our farmers put in with none of the work. Mislabeling of plant-based products as “milk” is unfair and hurts our dairy farmers.

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Sewage spill coverage shows media bias

By American Dairy Coalition
The American farmer once conjured images of hardworking, honest folks whose labor provided us with abundant food. However, today the same hard-working individuals who try to make a living supplying the nation’s food are under attack. They are labeled as polluters, animal abusers, and creators of products that attempt to kill us. It would be laughable if only a huge segment of the population didn’t believe this to be true!  Still worse, it is becoming increasingly evident the press is supporting this attack through its collective “selective outrage” and inconsistent reporting of environmental events.  Continue reading “Sewage spill coverage shows media bias”

Wausau sewage dump shows media, environmentalists have it out for farmers

Courtesy of WSAU TV 

By Dan Ellsworth
Wisconsin Water Alliance President

On Jan. 23, the City of Wausau piped 3.7 million gallons of raw, untreated human feces and waste directly into the Wisconsin River. Was this by accident? No. It was by design, as the waste was routed directly to the river by the city’s sewerage system after a pipe leading to the wastewater treatment plant was plugged. Everything worked according to plan. As city officials alluded to afterward, the waters of the Wisconsin River actually were the perfect solution to the problem, as opposed to allowing sewage to back up into some Wausau homes. Continue reading “Wausau sewage dump shows media, environmentalists have it out for farmers”

Column: No, I don’t want the organic version

By Carlie Ostrom
For MAA

It’s rare to walk into an urban restaurant or market without being bombarded by signs touting cage-free eggs, pasture-raised beef, or GMO-free wheat. I didn’t always run into “foodie” culture, however. I grew up in Wisconsin, where I spent my summers showing cattle and giving tours of my family’s dairy farms.

Since my departure from home for college two years ago, I’ve lived in Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco. I must admit, it’s still shocking to see how adamant my new urban peers are about food standards considering their lack of connection to the agricultural world. People genuinely believe that their food is better for them and better for the world if its production methods are old-fashioned. I’m going to deconstruct this view: If we’re looking at it from a consequentialist standpoint, modern farming is actually better for everyone  —  farmers, consumers, animals  and the Earth. Continue reading “Column: No, I don’t want the organic version”

Gallagher: Save the Bay initiative keeps moving forward

By Mike Gallagher
For MAA

I’m proud to be from Northeast Wisconsin. Here, we treat everyone we meet with kindness and respect. We stand by our veterans and help those in need. And we work hard every day to, in our own small way, hold the line and leave our little part of the world better than we found it.

Our character is shaped not only by our traditions of kindness and decency, but also by our land. From our rivers and streams, to our forests and rich farmland, the natural abundance of Northeast Wisconsin shapes and defines who we are as a people. Perhaps most significantly, we are home to the largest freshwater system in the world: the Great Lakes. These waters are tied directly to 1.4 million jobs, including the tourism industry that sustains many of our coastal communities. The lakes give drinking water to 40 million people each day and provide water for our crops that feed people around the world.

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McTigue: Have a plan in place before meetings

By Tim McTigue
For MAA

With the continued stress in the agricultural economy, farm management meetings are more important than ever. It is essential that all parties involved with the farm operation are focusing on the same objectives to efficiently run the farm and manage costs.

For anyone who’s been in a meeting, you know that some are more productive than others. At some point in time, who hasn’t walked out of a room with unanswered questions, such as, “What was accomplished for the past hour?” or “What happens next?” Oftentimes, meetings have good discussions, but lack clear direction or calls to action. Here are some basic tips to running a productive meeting: Continue reading “McTigue: Have a plan in place before meetings”

Bills could impact dairy industry’s future

By American Dairy  Coalition

On Oct. 25, two important bills passed through the House Judiciary Committee, both with the potential to have a large impact on dairy producers across the nation who are struggling to find reliable labor.

The first of these two bills is the Agricultural Guestworker Act (AG Act). This bill will discontinue the H-2A visa and replace it with an H-2C program that would allow dairy-operation employers with year-round work to apply. It eliminates requirements that employers provide transportation and housing and allows employers to have contractual or at-will agreements with workers.

While not perfect, this bill could have a huge positive impact on farmers, allowing the industry to move the dial toward a workable guest-worker program that is functional and not bogged down with inefficiencies and bureaucratic red tape. Continue reading “Bills could impact dairy industry’s future”

Time for FDA to put the squeeze on milk hijackers

By Laurie Fischer
American Dairy Coalition

No matter the age, when Americans think of milk, they envision healthy bones and calcium.

Science continues to make the case: A cup of milk provides about 30 percent of the daily recommended calcium intake for the majority of the population.  When a gallon of milk is purchased anywhere across the U.S., consumers know what they are getting inside that jug — no matter the brand. That’s because it’s actually milk! It comes from a lactating cow.

Continue reading “Time for FDA to put the squeeze on milk hijackers”