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Outlining six issues facing local dairy farmers that U.S. Representative Ron Kind. wants Congress to address, he disclosed his 'Dairy Action Plan' for the 116th Congress on June 14. 

The "huge challenges" farmers in Wisconsin are facing "puts pressure on the rural economy, quite frankly it puts pressure throughout the entire state economy of Wisconsin, given how important production agriculture has been," said Kind, according to WEAU News

The main component of the Dairy Action Plan includes working to end tariffs "that are leaving markets otherwise eager to import Wisconsin dairy products out of reach of our farmers," the Tomah Journal reported. 

Kind told reporters on June 14  that farmers want "a good market price to sell into, so they can make a decent living, provide for their families, keep their operations going. That's all they ever want to do. And that's why the trade war has been so detrimental to them, because we're taking away those markets right now."

Kind's plan would also work at boosting agricultural innovation and combate farm consolidation, as well as make it easier for farmers to go organic, as well as support beginning farmers and ranchers. 

With the average age of farmers around 59, 60 years old now, Kind said, "We need that next generation of farmers to be able to step in" with smooth transitions, "take over operations or even set up their own for the first time," Kind explained.

Additionally, Kind said, comprehensive immigration reform is needed,  "to provide certainty for our dairy workforce while also ensuring necessary funding for border security," the Tomah Journal reported.

Kind said his Dairy Action Plan provides "steps that we can work on in a bi-partisan basis in Congress to provide help and support, and some additional resources, to our family dairy farmers during this very tough period that they're going through," WEAU News reported. 

Carol Spaeth-Bauer at 262-875-9490 or carol.spaeth-bauer@jrn.com. Follow her on Twitter at cspaethbauer or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/carol.spaethbauer.

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