Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

Reminder to All WPVGA Associate Division Members

Dear WPVGA Associate Division Member:

We need your help!  WPVGA member growers are under increasing pressure to stop using high capacity wells and/or significantly reduce their water usage.  The growers will soon be under an all-out attack by individuals who believe the potato and vegetable growers are drying up Wisconsin’s abundant lakes, rivers and streams by “over-pumping” with their irrigation systems.  Some of these folks even go so far as to suggest that farmers are draining our state’s vast underground aquifer!

There is a very good chance that new legislation will be introduced early next year that will challenge the current high capacity well permitting process in an attempt to prevent any  and all new well permits from being issued, while also imposing new, harsh restrictions on existing wells.  We have worked hard on this issue and have been fortunate to defeat similar legislation in previous years, but there are no guarantees moving forward.

This fall’s elections will play a large role in determining the makeup of the Wisconsin legislature and could signal a change in power.  We need to be proactive regardless of who is in control.

WPVGA grower members have joined forces to establish a fund to help their cause.  Now we need to do more.  We are asking our WPVGA Associate Division members to ante up and support our growers with significant donations to help us fund research and education on water issues and promote positive public relations through our Water Task Force.  We need science-based facts to get our message out!

Make no mistake:  agriculture’s voice is now incredibly small (farmers represent less than 2% of the population) and has a hard time being heard in the state legislature in Madison.  Even when we are heard, we are often out-voted.  The stakes that WPVGA members have in the outcome of high capacity well issues have never been higher than they are today.

Please contribute whatever you can to help us tell our side of the story.  The donations you make today will help your business’s future for generations to come.  This is not a grower-only issue:  it affects all agri-businesses. Our goal is to raise a minimum of $50,000.  Thanks to past successful fundraisers such as the Associate Division golf outing, the Associate Division Board has pledged to match up to $25,000 toward this fund.

Our plan is to list all donors in the Badger Common’Tater magazine to give you recognition, as well as posting signage at the next WPVGA Industry Show.  Top level donors will also be recognized at the Annual Industry Awards Banquet.

Please mail checks by October 28, 2016, payable to WPVGA Water Task Force; Attn: Julie Braun, P.O. Box 327, Antigo, WI 54409.

On behalf of the entire WPVGA, thank you very, very much!

Sincerely,
Wayne Solinsky, WPVGA Associate Division Board President
Mark Finnessy, WPVGA Board President
Tamas Houlihan, WPVGA Executive Director

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