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DBA: Pay attention to government policy activity

DBA’s John Holevoet discusses policy issues with group at policy picnic in Algoma

A dairy group says improving trade opportunities and paying attention to government policy proposals is very important right now.  John Holevoet is the government affairs director for the Dairy Business Association and its milk marketing cooperative.   He says, “From the federal side, we’re looking at labor supply, how do both maintain our existing workforce and have a new and legal pipeline to bring in new workers for our dairies.  We’re also watching the trade situation carefully.  We want to make sure we protect our existing trade relationships and also build future trading relationships with new countries and new partners.”

Holevoet tells Brownfield it’s no coincidence trade and milk prices have both gone up.  He’s also concerned that some big ag issues like immigration labor are not Washington’s top priorities.  “From a federal level, we are probably in a wait-and-see mode.  They’ve got some other things they’re trying to deal with right now. They (Congress) is looking at health care.  They’re looking at tax reform.  But, once those big items are done, that’s going to be our opportunity to move some of what we care about, and all through that process still, we’re already talking Farm Bill so we’ve got to keep an eye out on that.”

Holevoet says they are also keeping an eye on key state issues, like what’s being proposed in Wisconsin for animal siting and agricultural runoff regulations.

Holevoet spoke to Brownfield during their recent DBA Policy Picnic near Algoma, Wisconsin.

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