Before their schedules were booked solid with spring planting duties, Wisconsin Soybean Association (WSA) farmer leaders made their way to Madison to represent the soybean industry during Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Ag Day at the Capitol. While there, WSA joined other commodity organizations, presenting a united front on issues affecting operations across the state.
“One of the things that I really love and appreciate about Ag Day is that all of the ag groups come together and speak with one voice,” said WSA Vice President Doug Rebout. “We’re sitting with our legislators and showing them that agriculture stands together.”
Rebout highlighted the value of building relationships with legislators.
“We have good relationships with our legislators, and it’s always a day that they look forward to,” Rebout said. “While we’re sitting and having conversations with them, not only are we giving them our thoughts on policies, but we’re also answering questions that they have on how certain bills would affect us.”
A recurring topic throughout the day was the critical agricultural road improvement program, of which the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Wisconsin Ag Coalition are requesting $150 million of one-time funding. This investment would improve local roads, culverts and small bridges that are vital to farm operations, building them to standards that allow modern agricultural practices to operate.
“Taking care of rural roads is critical to our ag economy,” said WSA President Sara Stelter. “Paying attention to the legislation surrounding rural roads and advocating for money to take care of those roads is really important.”
After a productive Ag Day at the Capitol, the WSA delegation returned to their farms reinvigorated. With the 2023 growing season on the horizon,, Wisconsin soybean growers can rest assured that WSA will remain vigilant and protect their interests at the Capitol. In the meantime, Stelter reminds Wisconsin growers that they can’t do it alone.
“Wisconsin is unique because of how much legislation happens at the county level,” Stelter said. “It’s just as critical to stay on top of what’s happening at the county level. It’s important that people, farmers pay attention because so many things can happen before we’re aware at the state level. We always want to stay on top of what’s happening.”