Northeast Candidates Gain Support

The Dairy Business Association, Wisconsin’s leading dairy lobbying group, is endorsing candidates in several legislative races in northeastern Wisconsin.

DBA based its endorsement decisions on candidates’ positions on agricultural issues and, where available, their past voting records on bills supported by the association, which advocates for the state’s dairy farmers and allied businesses. 

DBA is endorsing two state senators from northeastern Wisconsin in their bids for reelection: Sen. Rob Cowles, R-Green Bay, in the 2nd District, and Sen. Dan Feyen, R-Fond du Lac, in the 18th District. 

The association is also supporting 14 candidates running to be reelected to the state Assembly: Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, in the 1st District; Rep. Shae Sortwell, R-Two Rivers, in the 2nd District; Rep. Ron Tusler, R-Harrison, in the 3rd District; Rep. David Steffen, R-Green Bay, in the 4th District; Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, in the 5th District; Rep. Gary Tauchen, R-Bonduel, in the 6th District; Rep. Paul Tittl, R-Manitowoc, in the 25th District; Rep. Tyler Vorpagel, R-Plymouth, in the 27th District; Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, R-Fond du Lac, in the 52nd District; Rep. Michael Schraa, R-Oshkosh, in the 53rd  District; Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, in the 54th District; Rep. David Murphy, R-Greenville, in the 56th District; Rep. John Macco, R-Ledgeview, in the 88th District; and Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, in the 89th District.

One of the top ag-related policy accomplishments last legislative session was the creation of a new nutrient trading clearinghouse, said Kevin Collins, a DBA board member who farms with his family in Greenleaf.

“This legislation will hopefully make it much easier to do nutrient trading in Wisconsin, which has the potential to help both the environment and farmers’ bottom lines,” Collins said.

“Senator Cowles and Representative Kitchens coauthored this bill and deserve a big thank-you for getting it over the finish line. We’re optimistic for the benefits that will come from it,” he said.

While several good pieces of legislation were passed last session, there were also some worthwhile measures that did not make it through the process, DBA’s director of government affairs, John Holevoet, said.

“DBA worked hard to pass three bills that were meant to clarify the labeling of milk, dairy products and meat products to prevent the use of misleading labels by plant-based imitators,” Holevoet said. “We were disappointed that these bills failed to pass because the state Senate’s last floor date was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. We owe a special thanks to lawmakers who championed these measures and we’re hopeful they can be revived next session.”

Several lawmakers were cosponsors of all three bills, including Feyen, Tusler, Tauchen, Vorpagel and Thiesfeldt.