Farm Bureau celebrates signing of long-awaited bills

Joe Bragger

On Tuesday, March 3, Governor Tony Evers signed several agriculture-related bills supported by Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

“There is always more work to be done to support Wisconsin farmers, but today we celebrate some long-awaited bills,” said WFBF President Joe Bragger.

Four Wisconsin Farm Bureau-backed bills were signed by Gov. Evers. Those bills include:

Assembly Bill 747/Senate Bill 685 which removes the requirement for annual documentation verifying non-use of synthetic bovine growth hormone. This legislation simply requires farmers to complete this paperwork one time and then it will remain on file with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. This bill was authored by Senator André Jacque and Representative Travis Tranel.

“Our dairy farmers have been asking for the yearly rBST affidavit requirement to be removed,” said Bragger. “Dairy farmers will now be able to complete the verification one time and have that form be held on file with DATCP.”

Authored by Senator Cowles and Representative Kitchens, Assembly Bill 113/Senate Bill 91 establishes a system for buying and selling nutrient credits. Those who hold a water pollution discharge elimination permit including farmers, manufacturers and other businesses will be eligible to participate in the nutrient credit trading system.

“Farmers want to have a seat at the table in discussions about water quality and quantity,” said Bragger. “This nutrient credit trading system will reward farmers for implementing conservation practices on their farms that enhance water quality.”

Assembly Bill 578/Senate Bill 523 authored by Senator Petrowski and Representative Spiros expands farmers’ exemption from the Commercial Driver's License requirement. Farmers, family members or employees do not need a CDL to operate a commercial motor vehicle that is being used to transport agricultural products, machinery or supplies.

“The updated legislation simplifies the farmer CDL exemption by removing the mileage restriction to align state law with federal law,” said Bragger.

Authored by Senator Marklein and Representative Vruwink, Assembly Bill 430/Senate Bill 387 allows farmers to include crop insurance proceeds in calculating the manufacturing and agriculture tax credit value.

“This bill will literally put dollars into the pockets of our farmers,” said Bragger. “Our farmers battled poor weather conditions during some of the most critical times last year which resulted in the need to use crop insurance programs. This credit is much needed to support our stressed farmers.”

Bragger added, “Wisconsin Farm Bureau would like to thank Governor Tony Evers for signing these bills and all the state legislators who authored, introduced or sponsored these pieces of legislation.”