Rep. Kind Meets with Local Ag Advisory Committee
January 27, 2012
In The News
Wisconsin Ag Connection
Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind says he met this week with his agriculture advisory committee, which is a group made up of local farmers and stakeholders from across western Wisconsin, to talk about issues affecting the state's farming sector in 2012.
During a meeting in La Crosse on Thursday, Kind provided the group with an update on what's happening in Washington, while they shared their concerns about ag issues like the upcoming farm bill, risk management tools, milk markets and changes to the MILC program, and newly proposed labor rules.
"It's important to sit around the table and discuss the issues that so greatly impact western Wisconsin and our state," said Rep. Kind. "Hearing from this group helps me understand where our family farmers are struggling, how I can help facilitate support, and the things we can work on together to bring greater efficiencies and growth to the industry."
A major topic of discussion was the upcoming farm bill, which is expected to be considered later this year as programs are set to expire on September 30. Rep. Kind has been in favor of reforming programs that steer taxpayer funded subsides to very few but very large agribusinesses, which he claims results in the top 10 percent of recipients getting 76 percent of subsidy dollars.
"These subsidies are fiscally irresponsible and only distort the marketplace," said Kind. "Our local farmers are not getting the support they need, while addresses in Chicago and San Francisco are getting thousands of dollars in direct payments. We must reform these subsidies."
Members of Kind's ag panel include Steve Boe, Wisconsin Farm Bureau; Mike Compton, Director of UW-Platteville School of Agriculture; Wade Miller, Farm Service Agency; Timothy K. Rehbein, Vernon County UW-Extension; Missy Hughes, Organic Valley; among more than a dozen others.