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E DITOR Continuing the push for Colby as the state cheese

To the editor: Friends, countrymen, Wisconsinites; lend me your ears (well, in this case your eyes, I suppose): Today, as you view this publication, I am at our state capitol. I will be visiting multiple offices — over 20 state representatives and senators, committee heads, and their staff — to keep my promise of bringing Colby cheese to them to enjoy, but to also talk more about Bill 572.

Why am I pressing? My fear is that this bill will be forgotten due to bureaucratic gridlock. A prime example is our beloved state symbol, the badger, which almost wasn’t our state icon. Even though we were known as the Badger State since the territorial days, it took until 1957 for the state legislature to make the North American badger our state mammal, and official state symbol. That’s 109 years after we obtained statehood. Thank God our lawmakers had the fortitude and foresight to have that business done right away (insert sarcastic tone).

My next worry is that the Senate committee is viewing this only for the betterment of the community of Colby, with no economic or political gain. This could not be further from the truth. This is for our dairy farmers, our cheese makers, our Dairyland brand. Imagine our marketing power if we had an identifiable, recognizable symbol that didn’t need further explanation or reinvention. For we are so great at what we do that we have our own official, homegrown, cheese. A cheese, by the way, that was created in the center of Clark and Marathon County, which touts the largest number of dairy farms and dairy cows than anywhere else in the state.

Symbolism connects us to traditions, to people, industries, and values. It matters. Ask any business owner and anyone in marketing. Anyone at the Capitol would also understand it full well as they walk past red granite columns, the multiple bronze badgers, and go to work under the gold statue of Lady Forward.

It has been a nightmare for the dairy farmers throughout this great state of ours these past years. As the Capitol and the industry continue to help find solutions, they owe a small token of appreciation to the farmers by passing this bill. Call it “cheesy” or a moot point that this will help farmers in a small way, but what harm does it do either?

This PR push is to get Colby cheese moved to next-order-of-business for the Senate committee/Assembly sooner rather than later, and get another public hearing. Once it gets to that point, an offi- cial vote will come soon after. It has a long way to go right now, but the momentum is gaining, and we need to keep moving forward on this. Stay tuned to my social media accounts and the Tribune-Phonograph for more.

If you want to help, contact Senator Stroebel at Sen.Stroebel@legis.wisconsin. gov and one of his staff members, Lucas Fuller, at Lucas.Fuller@legis.wisconsin. gov and tell them: Colby cheese is a universally popular, widely consumed cheese around the United States and the world, and is 100 percent authentic Wisconsin. It should be a state symbol. A proper, legitimate symbol to represent our Dairyland state, it’s farmers, cheesemakers, and the communities that are supported by them. Our farmers, cheesemakers, and our state are waiting on you. Get this done.

Matt Oehmichen


Pro-choice Wisconsinites need to take a stand

To the editor: This year alone, eight states have passed bans based on gestational age (often before pregnancy has been detected), and Alabama has passed an outright ban.

The appointment of anti-abortion Justice Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, replacing the pro-choice swing voter Justice Anthony Kennedy, has spurred these draconian legislative efforts. Antiabortion legislatures are rushing to pass as many restrictions as possible to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The most likely scenario is that the Supreme Court would declare abortion a “states’ rights” issue. Should this happen, Wisconsin’s statute criminalizing abortion would go into immediate effect.

Physicians who perform abortions could go to prison for up to six years. That’s why Wisconsin citizens need to demand that the Legislature repeal this 170-year-old law, by passing the Abortion Access Act introduced by Rep. Lisa Subeck and Sen. Fred Risser.

And we need to take countermeasures on the national level. Congress must finally schedule a hearing on the Women’s Health Protection Act, sponsored by our Sen. Tammy Baldwin and about 240 others in Congress, which would pre-empt these archaic state laws.

There can be no liberty more primary than the right to control one’s own body, one’s own fertility, one’s own family size and, thereby, one’s own destiny.

Annie Laurie Gaylor Madison