Ag Chat with Scott Schultz- January 10

Wisconsin U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, said the differences between the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement are enough that she’ll vote for the deal’s ratification whenever it comes to the Senate floor. The Senate’s Finance Committee earlier this week voted 25-3 to advance the bill, and though several other committees have yet to review it before the full Senate vote, Baldwin said she expects those committees to give their quick approval. The agreement, which many observers say doesn’t stray far from the North American Free Trade Agreement that it would replace, has enough differences – especially for agriculture -- to gain the senator’s support, she said. Baldwin had voted against ratification of the NAFTA ratification. She said, “The original deal – the NAFTA deal – was a deal that I opposed. I feel it cost Wisconsin jobs and it needed to be fixed in numerous ways.” When deal first came out, Baldwin said she saw difficulties in enforcement and in other areas. However, improvements made during negotiations between the Trump Administration and the House of Representatives. Those improvements include features she said should help dairy trade for Wisconsin farmers.

Wisconsin Farmers Union has announced that Pete Curran has been hired as membership director. In that role, Curran will be responsible for membership support, growth and engagement. Curran, who resides in Sun Prairie, has spent 30 years in marketing, sales and nonprofit management. He graduated from UW-Madison with a journalism/advertising degree and worked in advertising in Chicago.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have launched a unified Web site for biotechnology regulation. The site is designed to streamline information about the three regulatory agencies charged with overseeing agriculture biotechnology products and is part President Donald Trump’s executive order on modernizing the regulatory framework for agricultural biotechnology products.

Registrations for the Wisconsin FFA Alumni Convention will close January 20. The annual meeting will be held at the Milwaukee Marriott West in Waukesha on January 31- February 1 hosted by Sections 4, 5, and 10.