Ag Briefs: Georgia's Scott to lead U.S. House Ag Committee

Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin briefs


2021 WI Holstein Association adult convention canceled

The Wisconsin Holstein Association Board of Directors has made the decision to cancel the 2021 Adult Convention and postpone this year’s annual meeting and elections until 2022. In a news release, the board and staff said the increasing number of COVID cases made the cancellation in light of the safety of members.

In the meantime, Wisconsin Holstein will be announcing some of the yearly award winners in the coming months. WHA also hopes to make formal presentations at state-wide events in 2021 in order to give these deserving recipients the recognition they deserve. Tune into social media, the WHA website and Wisconsin Holstein News for updates and information on future events.


Georgia's Scott to lead U.S. House Agriculture Committee

Democratic U.S. Rep David Scott will become the first Georgian and the first African American to lead the U.S. House Agriculture Committee.

The House Democratic Caucus on Thursday ratified the choice of Scott to lead the panel.

The committee oversees the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as food stamps, school meals and soil and water conservation. Scott says he wants to focus on climate change's threat to the nation's food supply and other issues.

He replaces Rep. Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat who lost his bid for reelection.


WI State Fair wins 20 awards

Wisconsin State Fair officials announced that they have received 20 award in various divisions at the 2020 International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) virtual convention.

The fair also earned the coveted 2020 Judges Choice Award within the communications awards program, in which only on Fair is chosen throughout the entire communications program.

With the majority of fairs and events being canceled due to COVID-19, many unveiled programs to provide a segment of their offerings in a safe manner. Wisconsin State Fair and the State Fair Necessities rose to the top being recognized as the leader, besting some of the biggest and best events globally.

Fair Necessities offered the public a chance to sample some of the Fairs iconic offerings including the famed cream puffs and other fair foods thanks to a drive-thru event.

"These awards were earned due to the true innovation the Wisconsin State Fair Park staff brings to all obstacles; especially in these unthinkable times,” said Kathleen O’Leary CEO, Wisconsin State Fair Park.

The IAFE awards are presented in categories of Agriculture, Hall of Honors Communication, Competitive Exhibits, Innovation in Sponsorship, and Non-Fair Facility Usage. Wisconsin State Fair earned first place awards in all five categories.  


Peterson unveils legislation to expand CRP to 50M acres

In a press conference Thursday, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota announced the introduction of H.R. 8843, which makes an additional 25 million acres available over the next five years for general signup under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). 

Instead of a cap, the bill establishes a minimum floor of 50 million CRP acres nationwide.

“CRP incentivizes farmers to remove sensitive land from agricultural production and plant cover to enhance wildlife habitat and provide other natural resource benefits,” Peterson told reporters. “CRP has a decades-long track record of engaging farmers in the effort to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and create wildlife habitat.”

According to the House Ag Committee release, in addition to the increase in acreage, the bill will help CRP prioritize those applications that promote soil health and carbon sequestration. Applications for the enrollment of land on which deep-rooted perennials will be planted will also be prioritized.


Migrant farm workers allege pesticide exposure in Illinois

More than two dozen migrant workers from Texas allege they were sprayed with toxic pesticides while working in Illinois cornfields, according to a federal lawsuit. 

The workers, including teenagers, senior citizens and a pregnant woman, claim they were sprayed by a helicopter and plane treating fields in July and August 2019, despite wearing neon orange hats and backpacks.

According to an Associated Press report, workers' symptoms included shortness of breath, blurred vision, eye irritation, vomiting and dizziness. Some said their systems have persisted. 

The workers were brought to Illinois from cities in South Texas' Rio Grande Valley including Weslaco and Mercedes.

The lawsuit alleges the company that employed the workers, Iowa-based Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., its parent Delaware-based Corteva, Inc. did not adequately protect workers, provide proper medical attention or cover hospital bills. Two agricultural aviation businesses in Illinois were also named. 


GENYOUth Partnership aims to deliver 100M meals

The checkoff-founded GENYOUth organization and Campbell's Chunky are hosting an e-sports initiative that will raise money to deliver 100 million meals, including milk, as part of its COVID-19 Emergency School Meal Delivery Fund to help tackle hunger in schools.

The Chunky Million Meals Challenge Madden NFL 21 presented by Target will be played in EA SPORTS Madden NFL 21. The competition has sponsorship support from the checkoff's Undeniably Dairy campaign as well as the NFL, CSL Esports, Doritos and Bose. NFL players who serve as Fuel Up to Play 60 ambassadors will participate along with Madden NFL professionals.

Undeniably Dairy will share dairy-relevant messaging and create moments to bring awareness to farmers' longtime commitment to hunger. The Raising Gallons video, which Dairy Management Inc. created in partnership with state and regional checkoff organizations, will be part of the content. The video supports the checkoff's goal of getting nutritious dairy to food-insecure Americans.

Throughout the tournament, which begins Dec. 19, viewers will be encouraged to donate to GENYOUth to help tackle food insecurity at or by texting MEALS to 20222 for a one-time $25 donation.


Dairyland Seed announces corn silage Yieldmaster winners

Dairyland Seed recently announced the National and State winners for its annual Corn Silage Yieldmaster Contest. 

The title of National Corn Silage Yieldmaster was awarded to Thomas Walleser of Lansing, IA with a yield of 41.78 tons/acre with HiDF-3211RA. 

Wisconsin Corn Silage Yieldmasters include: First Place: Steve Gentz of Juneau – 38.50 tons/acre with HiDF-3211RA. Second Place: Murph-Ko Farms, Fond du Lac – 35.08 tons/acre with HiDF-3211RA.