Barron County Farm Bureau delegation at WFBF annual meeting

Barron County was well represented at the recent Wisconsin Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. Congratulations go to Julie Wadzinski, who was selected as the winner of the 2021 Young Farmer and Agriculturist Discussion Meet contest. The Discussion Meet contest is a panel discussion in which Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35 are judged on their ability to express their ideas and opinions and reach a solution on current issues affecting agriculture.

Wadzinski grew up on her family’s dairy farm in Marathon County and is the Farm Operations instructor at Northwood Technical College in Rice Lake. She will represent Wisconsin at the American Farm Bureau Federation Discussion Meet in Atlanta, Ga. in January. In addition, GROWMARK, Inc. provided the winner with $1,500 and Blain’s Farm and Fleet provided a chainsaw.

Nate Kringle of Rice Lake also participated in the Discussion Meet, and Ryan Erickson of Barron represented UW-Platteville as a finalist in the Collegiate Discussion Meet.

Serving as delegates to the annual meeting were Randy Cook, Sam Olson and Karyn Schauf. Resolutions that originated at county annual meetings were discussed by the more than 200 delegates from 61 county Farm Bureaus and voted on to be added to the organization’s 2022 policy book. On the floor delegates discussed carbon credits, voting to support a voluntary carbon credit market. In the area of natural resources and the environment, members support certified private sector professionals to be allowed to assist the DNR by utilizing their expertise in meeting permitting requirements. Members supported the ability to manage nuisance elk within the wildlife damage and claim program without requiring public hunting access to private lands. Delegates voted to support educating dairy producers on the Dairy Revitalization Plan based on research by UW-Madison’s Center for Integrated Ag Systems.

Members also passed a resolution proposing local government have input over the control, siting/placement of alternative energy projects. In addition delegates added policy supporting all alternative energy businesses to fund bonding that would require the businesses to pay for cleanup and restoration of the land.

On the federal level, delegates support all indemnity payments be paid directly to producers, not to or through processors. They opposed an increase in the inheritance tax and loss of the stepped-up tax basis and supported developing and implementing a more responsive price discovery tool to replace the Federal Milk Marketing Order to better reflect the value of milk.

WFBF’s complete policy can be found on their website at Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization representing farms of all sizes, commodities and management styles.