Congress must pass a new Farm Bill as the current deal expires in September. However a proposal from the House of Representatives failed to pass in May and will come up for a vote again soon.
After touring Servais Family Farm in Stoddard, Congressman Ron Kind unveiled his Farm Bill Priorities. Those include crop insurance reforms, focus in organic farming and supporting dairy farms.
Talks over tariffs at the G7 Summit come at a bad time according to Kind as Wisconsin needs good news as discussions on passing a farm bill continue.
"These countries are announcing retaliatory tariffs against our producers and against our products including cheese that we’d normally sell into the Mexican market," Kind explained. "Most of the milk that we produce here Wisconsin is going into cheese production."
He stressed the importance of leveling the playing field for American farmers and producers.
"If we lose the largest export market as Mexico threatening to do by hitting us with retaliatory tariffs, that could be enough to destroy the dairy industry overnight, not only here in Wisconsin but throughout our country," Kind added.
Tim Servais, owner and operator of the Servais Family Farm, says being a producer, you learn early on to build good relationships. He hopes the G7 Summit hasn’t lost those with our allies.
"It’s all about relations and if you burn those relations, you’ve burned a lot," He said. "It takes a lot to get that back. It could take generations to build that back again. So why lose that respect from whatever country? it’s just a foolish thing."
He believes it’s important for the industry to succeed as it benefits all industries.
"We have Organic Valley up here in Cashton and La Farge, that’s a lot of jobs we put out there," Servais explained. "You take all the agriculture away, I think half this state would be a ghost town."
Servais knows mother nature controls the markets in the end. He says a lot of small farms are struggling during this time because of market prices, but says fortunately for his farm they won’t be going anywhere.
Kind’s proposals were blocked by the committee rules before but he plans to continue to push them as amendments on the representative backed bill.
You can find more details on Kind’s Farm Bill Priorities by going here.