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USMCA a top priority during Tri-National Agricultural Accord

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 9:12 AM CDT
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - The continued work on the swift implementation and enforcement of U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement was among priorities identified last week by participants in the Tri-National Agricultural Accord meetings held between the three countries. Representatives of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection were part of those discussions. Work agreed in the USMCA included the need to eliminate the Classes 6 and 7 milk classes in Canada, produce additional market access for U.S. dairy products, enhance rules for science-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and maintain Mexican market access for U.S. cheeses marketed under geographic-indicator names. Agreement also was reached to maintain collaboration between the three countries to prevent African Swine Fever from entering North America.

A fourth round of the federal coronavirus relief Farmers to Families Food Box purchases have been authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA officials announced Friday that another $500 million of food will be purchased for distribution, with the awarding of distribution contracts expected by Oct. 30 and food boxes to be delivered between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31. States have been allocated boxes based on each state’s needs, according to a USDA press release. Combination food boxes going to food-insecure people will include fresh produce, dairy products, fluid milk and meat products.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension’s Heart of the Farm - Women in Agriculture program will start an online fall-and-winter coffee chat program on Nov. 9. The series will be held at 10 a.m. on the second Monday of each month through March. There is no charge for participation, but registration is required for the Zoom sessions. Wisconsin author and historian Jerry Apps, a former UW-Extension agent, will keynote the Nov. 9 session. Information and registration are available through the UW-Extension' Web site.

Several FFA members from the region will be finding out their agricultural proficiency awards placements starting tonight as the National FFA Convention gets under way. The convention, normally held annually in Indianapolis, is being conducted virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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