CLUELESS: Does Vukmir Know Anything About Wisconsin Agriculture?

Oct 18, 2018

For Immediate Release
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Contact: Brad Bainum, bradb@wisdems.org

CLUELESS: Does Vukmir Know Anything About Wisconsin Agriculture?
Vukmir keeps proving she has no idea what she’s talking about, where the needs of Wisconsin farmers are concerned

MADISON — At a recent campaign event at the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir sought to be open and up front about her lack of agricultural policy knowledge, claiming, “In my district, the Fifth Senate district, there isn’t a single farm.”

And yet, despite setting such extremely low expectations, Vukmir has nevertheless continued to surprise with her fundamental lack of understanding of the needs of Wisconsin’s agricultural community.

Some examples of Vukmir’s agricultural policy ignorance:

  • Opposition to farmers’ “top issue,” the Farm Bill: At a recent Vukmir roundtable with Shawano County farmers, “The top issue […] was the 2018 federal farm bill.” But earlier this summer, Vukmir was highly critical of the Senate version of the Farm Bill, saying, “The farm bill is the perfect example why people hate Washington.”
  • Opposition to fixing to Wisconsin farmers’ labor shortage: During the Wisconsin Broadcasters’ Association U.S. Senate debate, Vukmir was asked about the labor shortages that are hurting farms across Wisconsin. Vukmir reaffirmed that she opposes comprehensive immigration reform, adding a half-hearted “I’m sorry,” but offering no substantive policy solution.
  • Unfamiliarity with Tammy Baldwin’s DAIRY PRIDE Act: At the same Shawano County agricultural roundtable, one farmer “noted that there’s another bill Congress needs to address regarding the definition of milk. Dairy farmers and other groups want ‘milk’ to be identified as something coming from a mammal like a cow or a goat and not from a plant.” Vukmir, however, was confused by the reference to Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s DAIRY PRIDE Act, and apparently unfamiliar with the entire concept of mislabeled dairy imitation products.
  • Disparaging Tammy Baldwin’s work to bring regulatory relief to Wisconsin dairy farmers and cheesemakers: On Thursday, Vukmir in an interview disparaged Tammy Baldwin’s work to bring regulatory relief to Wisconsin dairy farmers and cheesemakers, mocking Baldwin’s successful effort to clean up FDA regulations and clarify Wisconsin cheesemakers’ ability to use wooden cheeseboards.
For the most part, Leah Vukmir has hardly mentioned the top issues concerning Wisconsin’s agricultural community during her U.S. Senate campaign. And when Vukmir has brought up agricultural issues, she’s betrayed a poor grasp of Wisconsin farmers’ top policy concerns. That’s only guaranteed to continue in the weeks ahead.