Home Wisconsin Breaking News Wisconsin dairymen: Environmental regs, milk labeling top 2021 to-do list

Wisconsin dairymen: Environmental regs, milk labeling top 2021 to-do list

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p dir=”ltr”>The Dairy Business Association on Tuesday released its 2021 legislative wish list. 

(The Center Square) – Wisconsin’s largest dairy group wants to keep milk as milk, and wants to make sure the state’s environmental rules for large farms are settled. 

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p dir=”ltr”>The Dairy Business Association is Wisconsin’s largest dairy group, and dairy is one of Wisconsin’s largest industries. Penterman said dairy farms in the state generate billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. 

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p dir=”ltr”>“The DBA’s legislative priorities reflect the complexity of the dairy community,” DBA President Amy Penterman said on Tuesday. “We urge the governor and legislators to put the pieces together as they move their agendas forward and shape the next budget.”

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p dir=”ltr”>“We can have a system that saves time, relies more on private industry, and focuses on continuous and quantifiable improvement,” DBA government affair director John Holevoet said Tuesday. “Increased [environmental regulation] fees and more staff are often offered as solutions to the program’s problems. We are not opposed to either of these things, but only if they are part of a package of broader improvements to the overall program.”

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p dir=”ltr”>Topping the Dairyman’s to-do list is a balancing of the state’s environmental regulations. 

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p dir=”ltr”>Holevoet said that water quality is on the table, but there needs to be a balance. 

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p dir=”ltr”>Gov. Tony Evers’ administration has taken a hard look at environmental regulations and dairy farms, with an eye toward regulation over the past two years, including an increased focus from the governor’s office on water quality standards. 

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p dir=”ltr”>The DBA also wants $7.8 million per year for the Dairy Innovation Hub with the University of Wisconsin System and flexibility in the UW Extension program. 

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p dir=”ltr”>“Last session’s water quality task force bills were just the beginning of the discussion,” Holevoet said. “Among other aspects, we need more funding for groundwater mapping, well testing, the non-point program, and farmer-led watershed conservation groups.”

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p dir=”ltr”>“The plant-based industry uses terms like milk, cheese and ice cream to ride on the marketing coattails of dairy farmers and processors,” Holevoet said. “Customers are being misled and farmers and processors are being treated unfairly.”

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p dir=”ltr”>Holevoet said dairymen in the state also want truth-in-labeling laws. 

 
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By Benjamin Yount | The Center Square
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Reposted with permission

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