Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue discussed trade issues during an appearance on C-SPAN. Perdue said Canada has exported milk solids below world market prices, limiting access for the United States dairy industry in those same international markets. “As you know, dairy was cut out of the original NAFTA agreement,” he said. “Our farmers don’t have access to Canadian markets the way they have access to us. Class 7 pricing has to go.” The dairy issue is one of the few remaining hurdles for a new North American Free Trade Agreement.

Class 7 pricing could go
    Canada’s dairy supply management system remains a sticking point for the United States, but one leading analyst does not expect that to change. “Canada will not get rid of supply management,” said Mike North, president of the Commodity Risk Management Group. “The government would have to write such a sizable check; there is no way they could buy back the quota that their farmers have invested in so heavily.” Two years ago, Canada created Class 7 pricing for protein concentrates, skim milk and whole milk powder. North expects Class 7 to change. “On the dairy front or with agriculture, more broadly, the trade war started with that,” he said. “It is an issue that should have been addressed already. I think there is some opportunity to see some give on that.”

USDA outlines commodity purchases
    With USDA’s trade assistance package, the government will purchase up to $1.2 billion of commodities. The purchase list has been announced, and it is topped by nearly $560 million in pork purchases. Another $85 million has been targeted for dairy purchases. More than $44 million in potato products will go for school lunches and nutrition assistance programs. Beef purchase will likely approach $15 million. A sum of $18 million will go towards Navy beans and $14.2 million is available for pinto beans.

MFP payments coming soon
    The Farm Service Agency is expected to begin the approval process for the Market Facilitation Program this week. This assistance is based on 2018 production, so payments are not yet available for most crops. However, dairy producers can sign up now and payments should be made by October.

Stringent antitrust regulations sought
    Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan is seeking a temporary moratorium on the mega-mergers in the agriculture and food industries. Pocan’s bill would create a commission to strengthen antitrust enforcement. The Madison Democrat describes the current merger trend as out of control consolidation, which is hurting farmers and rural communities.

Legend Seeds acquires rights to Munson Hybrids in central Wisconsin
    Legend Seeds has acquired the retail sales rights of Munson Hybrids in central Wisconsin. At the same time, Munson Hybrids, of Galesburg, Ill., has marketed its Illinois and southern Wisconsin rights to Cornelius Seed. Legend Seeds is based in De Smet, S.D., and serves farmers in seven states.

Wohlman moves to Land O’Lakes
    Minnesota Agriculture Department Deputy Commissioner Matt Wohlman has accepted a new job. Effective Sept. 26, Wohlman will join Land O’Lakes as its senior director of state and industry affairs. Wohlman has been with MDA since 2011.

Farm Foundation elects board members
    Four individuals were elected to the Farm Foundation Board of Directors. These leaders are Dan Basse, CEO of AgResource Company; Robert Jones, chancellor of University of Illinois; Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympic athlete; and Andy LaVigne, president of American Seed Trade Association. Jerome Lyman, who is a retired McDonald’s executive, and Noble Research Institute CEO Bill Buckner were elected.

UWRF honors Bass
    The University of Wisconsin-River Falls named Casie Bass as its 2018 Distinguished Teacher Award. Bass is an associate professor in the animal sciences department and has been at UWRF since 2015.

Cattle production veterinerian hall of fame honors for Allenstein
    Dr. Lee Allenstein received his DVM from Iowa State University in 1950. In spite of rheumatic fever with valvular heart lesions and doctor’s orders to pursue a less physically rigorous career of small animal practice, he could not resist the allure of dairy practice and joined a busy practice in Whitewater, Wis., practicing there for more than 40 years. From 1987-89, he was an adjunct clinical professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, then was a faculty of associate there from 1990-95, and was described as a natural instructor. Allenstein passed away in 2011 at the age of 86.

Farm Bureau finalists named
    The Wisconsin Farm Bureau named the finalists for its Young Farmer and Agriculturalist Achievement Award. The finalists are Josh and Ashley Claussen of Brown County; Brian Douglas of Dunn County; Dustin and Ashley Ellis of Buffalo County, and Ryan and Lindsey Prahl of Marathon County. The finalists for the Excellence in Agriculture Award are Justin and Livia Doyle of Iowa County; Ben Huber of Green County; Stephanie Nagel of Manitowoc County and Kelly Oudenhoven of Outagamie County. The awards will be presented at the state convention in late November.

Lightner returns to Equity Livestock
    Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales named Bob Lightner as its training facilitator. Lightner previously worked for Equity and has been involved in the livestock industry for the past 18 years.

Trivia challenge
    Kefir is the term for a fermented milk drink. That answers our last trivia question. For this week, what is the term for the popular Italian whey cheese? We will have the answer in the next edition of Dairy Star.
    Don Wick is owner/broadcaster for the Red River Farm Network, based in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Wick has been recognized as the National Farm Broadcaster of the Year and served as president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. Don and his wife, Kolleen, have two adult sons, Tony and Sam, and five grandchildren, Aiden, Piper, Adrienne, Aurora and Sterling.