Wisconsin Farm Bureau delegates leave the door open for possible dairy growth management

Some Wisconsin Farm Bureau delegates remain uncomfortable with creating a dairy growth management system.

Nearly 80% of the delegates voted down resolutions to strike state policy language saying they support the development of a dairy growth management plan that improves the welfare of farmers, processors, and consumers. 

Delegate Raymond Diederich from Brown County spoke in favor of removing the growth management policy language. “If they have a supply management to tell me how many cows I can milk tomorrow, that’s kind of not the free enterprise system. I’m still not really a socialist yet or communist, so I hope that I can kind of do what I feel I can do.”

Delegate Andrew Winiarczyk from Sawyer County would welcome some form of growth management, especially after COVID and what he says is processors getting too much profit while farmers suffer. “The farmer is not making it. The processor is getting big money and the consumer is paying for it and if you were to balance that pie out with the management system of some kind, everybody might be profitable.”

Delegate Karen Schaaf from Barron County pointed out a growth management plan would require a change in federal law and it cannot harm consumers. “One of the names being spoken for the next Secretary of Ag is a woman who does not come from the farm but she has a nutrition background. I think you can be assured that she’s going to be watching out for consumers. We also cannot have a plan that unduly puts on a lot of requirements and work and costs to processors or we will not have their support.”

Some delegates spoke in favor of managing the supply but did not favor the government running it.  Delegates voted Saturday to keep the policy enacted a year ago, leaving the door open to growth management.

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