WI farmers find a home on the Hill

Categories: WSAPublished On: July 12, 20232.2 min read

Share This

A strong delegation of farmers swapped their work boots for dress shoes and hit the Capitol grounds running in steamy Washington, D.C.  The American Soybean Association (ASA) and its 26 state affiliates are holding their biannual Board of Directors meeting in the nation’s capital July 11-13, with Hill Visits alongside Wisconsin’s congressional delegation taking place July 12.

“Our message goes a lot further in Washington when our delegates hear directly from the farmers,” said Tanner Johnson, an ASA director and Prairie Farm grower. “We look forward to having some productive discussions with our leaders at the Capitol, especially with a new Farm Bill still in the early stages.”

The Farm Bill, which expires later this year, will be top of mind during Hill Visits. During Tuesday’s Soy Issues Forum, four legislative aides discussed the status of the legislation and its timeline.

“It’s so important that legislators hear how important the Farm Bill is to your operations,” said Christy Seyfert, ASA executive director of government affairs.

Wisconsin ASA directors and representatives will also have conversations with the state’s 10 congressional members about the importance of the checkoff program, renewable fuels and other relevant issues important to soybean farmers in Wisconsin and across the United States. Sen. Cory Booker, who sits on the Senate Ag Committee, and Sen. Mike Lee have co-introduced a bipartisan bill that would prevent commodity checkoff groups like the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board (WSMB) from partnering with WSA, the advocacy wing of Wisconsin Soybean Programs. Wisconsin soybean farmers are eager to urge legislators to protect the soy checkoff research and promotion initiatives, which help bring $12.34 in return value to every dollar farmers pays into the checkoff.

“We rely heavily on our soybean farmers to get our message across to the folks in Washington. D.C., Seyfert said. “Wisconsin soybean producers should be pleased to know their voice is being heard thanks to great group of engaged and proactive leaders standing up for them at the capitol this week.

Farmer leaders representing Wisconsin this week in Washington, D.C. include Tanner Johnson, ASA Director Don Lutz; WSA Treasurer Matt Rehberg,; Secretary Daniel Linse,; Past President Steve Trzebiatowski; WSA District 2 Representative Evan Dalldorf; WSA District 3 Representative Dave Coggins; and 2023 ASA Corteva Young Leader participant Jake Steffes, who was selected to participate in the program’s third phase.

“The Young Leader program has provided a great opportunity for me to enhance and expand my leadership skills, as well as learning more about farm policy,” Steffes said. “My time in Washington D.C., has given my me a different perspective on how the legislature works and other issues throughout agriculture.”