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News & Media: Staff Columns

DBMMC beefs up government affairs team

Friday, June 16, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: John Holevoet, director of government affairs
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As I look at my lengthy to-do list and the stacks of notes on my desk, I know that the challenges our farmers face are growing in complexity and number. That being the case, it is always good when our team that works on those issues can grow as well. This occurred at the end of May with the hiring of Aaron Stauffacher as the new associate director of government affairs.

Aaron is a great full-time addition to the team, but he is not an entirely new member. He has been our government affairs intern since January 2015. Many of you may have had the pleasure of interacting with Aaron at a co-op event or if you contacted us with a legal or regulatory question.

Aaron grew up on a DBMMC-member farm in Lafayette County, Wis. He has a deep, personal knowledge of dairy farming. In addition to his on-the-farm knowledge, Aaron also brings a keen interest in politics and a meticulous legal mind to his work. He is a 2017 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School. While he may be a new lawyer, he has the makings of a great one. DBMMC is lucky to be the first place where he can make those talents shine.

Like me, Aaron is technically an employee of the Dairy Business Association. However, thanks to an agreement between the association and DBMMC, we work to help members of both groups.

His duties include working on Wisconsin-specific legislation, in conjunction with me and our in-state contractors: Bill McCoshen, Shawn Pfaff and the legal team at Michael Best. In addition, he and I also work with our Washington-based federal lobbyist, Michael Torrey, and his team to advance the co-op’s federal policy priorities. A large part of Aaron’s job will be working to improve the grassroots engagement and campaign financing capabilities of both the association and the co-op.

If you have not had the chance to talk with Aaron yet, he will be at this summer’s policy picnics. This will be an excellent time to interact with him, while also learning more about the work the co-op is doing on your behalf.

Together with your help and Aaron’s, I look forward to shortening up my to-do list and making even more political and legislative progress for our member farms. That way you can focus on farming, and we will focus on helping you continue to do that with a thoughtful regulatory environment, sensible labor policies, a farm bill that treats the dairy community fairly and the enforcement of laws that were intended to protect agriculture’s uniquely important role in society. 

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