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.

Continue reading “Gallagher: Save the Bay initiative keeps moving forward”

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”