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Variety of members drives policy committee

Friday, December 1, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Cody Heller, DBA board member
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While most DBA members understand that the association’s core business is lobbying, they probably don’t know that there is a committee specific to government affairs. This committee is the “boots on the ground” group that deals directly with governmental issues involving the dairy community. 

The committee is comprised of three DBA board members, a board member from Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, member farmers and other business professionals, a team of lobbyists, including those on staff, and a consultant.

I have the honor of chairing the committee.

The board established the committee structure to provide a collaborative set of ideas, opinions and knowledge bases that work together to guide our policy work. Having farmers and other business professionals on the committee provides for a broad range of experiences with the many different legislative and industry challenges that arise during the year.

Having an active committee also allows for DBA to be nimble and efficient when decisions need to be made. Committee members work to be deeply engaged with politicians from both parties across Wisconsin and at all levels of government. Thus, the committee has connections in all districts so they can actively reach out when necessary. 

Committee members also testify at hearings, meet with officials at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and Department of Natural Resources and work to fulfill the legislative agenda of the organization. 

One of the most rewarding things for me is to see the committee make a difference. This year has been highlighted with major wins on high-capacity wells, Act 21 overreach and CAFO permit shifting. These items will help grow the dairy community here in Wisconsin while protecting existing dairy farms and the environment. It is truly empowering when you can see first-hand the results of our work. 

If you are looking to become more involved in the organization but you aren’t ready for the commitment of being a board member, I would strongly encourage you to consider becoming a member of one of the committees. If government affairs is not your cup of tea, there are committees for member relations, industry relations and public relations. Please feel free to reach out to Executive Director Tim Trotter or any board member if you are interested.

DBA and other groups were at Gov. Walker's signing of a high-capacity well bill in June.

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