MADISON – Nearly 30 Wisconsin Farm Bureau members and staff were in Washington, D.C during national agriculture week to advocate for farmers. The trip marked the completion of the WFBF Leadership Institute, a year-long leadership training program available to Farm Bureau members.

Farm Bureau leaders became lobbyists for a day while meeting with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. on March 21. The issues discussed were the 2018 Farm Bill, trade, immigration reform, wolves and modernization of the Endangered Species Act, CERCLA, WOTUS and milk labeling.

"The trip was a great experience to use the skills I have learned in the past year in the Leadership Institute class,” said Green Lake County Farm Bureau President and dairy farmer Pete Badtke. “I was able to talk to my representatives and tell them how laws and policies are impacting my farm. Developing this relationship is so important."

The group also visited American Farm Bureau, Humane Watch and the Mexican Embassy. During a visit to the Environmental Protection Agency they talked with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt about the WOTUS rule, CERCLA air emissions reporting requirements for farmers and discussed how the agency can better work with farmers.

In addition to meeting with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation, Farm Bureau members also toured George Washington’s Mount Vernon and enjoyed a night tour of the national monuments.

While in Washington, D.C., Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors also met with staff from the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, as well as, House Judiciary Committee staff to discuss 2018 Farm Bill priorities and immigration reform.

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Accompanied by the WFBF Board of Directors, the Leadership Institute graduates who participated in the D.C trip were  Peter Badtke, Ripon; Sean Beres, Waukesha; Shane Goplin, Osseo; Jack Herricks, Cashton; Reuben Hopp, Waupun; Paul Jarvis, Wautoma; Adam Jones, Wautoma; James Juedes, Ringle; Hallie Metcalf, Janesville; Carmen Montgomery, Argyle; Cassie Olson, Black River Falls; Julie Orth, Lancaster and Heidi Pettis, Clintonville. 

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