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Survey suggests Wisconsin dairy producers are against TPP

Questionnaire was conducted by the Wisconsin Farmers Union

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
Farms.com

A new survey conducted by the Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU) suggests that many dairy producers in the state are against the Trans-Pacific-Partnership (TPP).

According to a WFU release, more than 1,000 farmers responded and approximately 80 per cent of respondents are in favor of Congress rejecting or placing a moratorium on TPP as it’s currently constituted.

“In our view, if you want to know what dairy farmers think, you should ask them directly, so that’s what we did,” Darin Von Ruden, WFU president, said in the release. “We hope that members of Congress will listen to the voices of their constituents…”

Producers said they understand the need for global trade opportunities, but want to make sure American farmers are given first priority.

“In my mind, there must be a reason why this is important to the president,” said Tina Hinchley. (Along with her husband, she runs Hinchley’s Dairy Farm Tours, a 2,800 acre farm with more than 290 Holsteins in Cambridge, Wisconsin.) “I think opening the markets for Japan are beneficial. However, I think if (TPP's) going to sacrifice our ability to market things that we have here, it makes it more challenging for us as farmers.”

If TPP is ratified, New Zealand could begin exporting milk protein concentrates into the U.S. – a product local farmers already produce.

“That’s a by-product we have in the United States too,” Hinchley said. “I can see where that could be an issue for our cheese industry.”

The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin have not yet responded to questions from Farms.com.

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