250 delegates at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s 98th Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells established new policy directives for the organization.
Farm Bureau delegates adopted the policies that will guide the legislative agenda for the state’s largest general farm organization in 2018. Resolutions were submitted by delegates as part of a grassroots policy development process.
Delegates held discussion on various dairy policy items. They supported milk processors giving farms 60 days notice before any changes to premium structure or required fees and giving 90 days notice before termination of service. They also supported Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to define clear and concise rules and regulations for automated milking installations and programs that emphasize manufacturing and marketing strategies.
Delegates supported a $.05/gallon tax on agricultural dyed fuel to be used only for town road improvements and maintenance.
Regarding nutrient management, they supported increased nitrogen levels for nutrient management planning due to higher yields and the ability of hybrids to better utilize these nutrients and efforts to assist agriculture to understand its role regarding nutrient management for surface water and groundwater. They supported the need to continue the reasonable scientifically-based best management practices for the protection of groundwater resources in high risk areas such as Karst areas.
Delegates supported increased trade deals that benefit Wisconsin and U.S. Agriculture.
Regarding marketing initiatives, delegates opposed using misleading food labels for a marketing campaign. They supported changing fat percentage labelling on bottled milk from ‘2% Fat’ to ‘98% Fat Free’, ‘1% Fat to 99% Fat Free’ etc. and use of the non-GMO label only on products that have a GMO alternative.
Delegates from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s 61 county Farm Bureaus also voted to support:
- Legislation that allows wineries and craft brewers to have equivalent operating hours as taverns and restaurants.
- Allowing tasting rooms to sample wines and ciders made by other producers.
- Managed grazing as an approved method of stream bank management and managed wetland areas.
- In a time of disaster or emergency, any fees, permits or hold times should be waived to aid people with bridges and creek crossings.
- Allowing stream bank damage following a storm to be returned to pre-storm locations.
- Controlling predatory wildlife populations.
- A tax incentive for selling and renting land to beginning/young farmers.
- Mandatory rural traffic safety curriculum in driver’s education classes.
On the federal level, delegates supported:
- Fair regional pricing within the Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Risk Coverage program.
- Over the road truckers should be exempt from e-logging requirements when transporting livestock or perishable agricultural products.
The federal resolutions will be forwarded to the American Farm Bureau Federation for consideration at its annual meeting next month.