Last week, Wisconsin Farm Bureau board members and staff met with the Environmental Protection Agency at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to discuss the environmental regulations on Wisconsin farmers.
Discussions centered around opportunities for farmers to utilize nutrient credit trading to become more creative in how nutrients are utilized on their farms and fields while keeping them out of bodies of water.
“In our EPA meeting we discussed the 2015 WOTUS rule that has been pulled back,” said Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte. “We appreciate that this rule is being reevaluated to address some serious concerns regarding regulatory overreach on farms.”
Special Advisor to the White House Kristi Boswell joined the meeting to discuss immigration. Wisconsin dairy farmers have been vocal advocates of reform to the national immigration system. Currently, dairy farmers are unable to use the H2A guest worker program for temporary and seasonal workers.
“We are thankful that Kristi took time with us to explain the efforts of the administration to help address agriculture’s concerns,” said Holte. “Leadership is trying to work within the current legal framework to craft better options.”
The eight board members who attended the trip met with National Milk and U.S. Dairy Export Council staff to discuss the climate of the dairy industry.
“Trade issues and tariffs are at the top of the list for concerns within the agricultural community,” said Holte. “While relief on the steel and aluminum tariffs with Canada and Mexico should help with moving the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement forward in Congress, agriculture needs additional access to new markets. There are also opportunities to address reform to the Federal Milk Marketing orders in the United States.”
WFBF board members also visited Capitol Hill to meet with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. The issues discussed were trade, immigration reform, wolves, WOTUS, Whole Milk for Healthy for Kids Act and options for delayed planting problems.