In light of a recent campaign ad attacking Governor Walker’s record on agricultural issues, the Volunteers for Agriculture – the political arm of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, the Dairy Business Association, and the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association are blasting the ad for its claim Governor Walker is does not support family farms in Wisconsin.
“Farmers know manure when they see it! Wisconsin farmers know Governor Walker has been a strong advocate of the agriculture industry,” said Laurie Fischer, Director of Policy for the Dairy Business Association.
As the state’s largest agriculture group, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau represent farmers of all sizes, commodities and management styles. Farm Bureau’s Volunteers for Agriculture recently endorsed Governor Walker’s re-election by stating:
“The Walker Administration has been a strong advocate for agriculture,” said Annette Trescher, a Monroe County dairy farmer who chairs the VFA. “Governor Walker has publicly expressed support for use value assessment of farmland, state livestock siting standards and the right to farm law. He also has overseen great gains in agricultural exports, which grows our state’s economy.”
The Dairy Business Association of Wisconsin is a statewide organization of dairy producers, vendors, allied industry partners, and professionals actively working to assure that dairy producers, large and small, remain an active, thriving part of Wisconsin’s economy, communities, and food chain. DBA also endorsed Governor Walker’s re-election by stating the following:
“Dairy farmers want to expand and grow,” explained Laurie Fischer, DBA’s Director of Dairy Policy. “Governor Walker and his administration have a proven track record of support for our industry and the entire farming community.”
“The Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, which represents the interest of Wisconsin’s corn growers on Federal, State, and Local issues, said the following when endorsing Governor Walker’s re-election:
“Governor Walker understands the challenges faced by Wisconsin farmers,” said WCGA President Brian Long. “By putting the state back in a strong fiscal position, he was able to reduce income taxes paid by farmers while preserving our use-value property tax system. Governor Walker signed into law a major overhaul of the Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Program, reducing the fees paid by farmers and increasing the state commitment to fertilizer research.”
Below are just a few of the Walker Administration accomplishments that have benefited Wisconsin farmers over the last four years.
Governor Walker’s Record on Agriculture:
* The Dairy 30X20 Grant Program was created by Governor Walker to increase milk production to 30 billion pounds by 2020.
* Governor Walker signed legislation creating the Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit in 2011. This credit took effect in tax year 2013, and increases in four steps to 7.5 percent in tax year 2016 and beyond. This credit makes Wisconsin a more competitive place to grow manufacturing and agriculture businesses and jobs.
* Governor Walker signed Wisconsin Act 324 that allows agricultural businesses investing in new technology to take advantage of the sales and use tax exemption. This will help promote growth and modernization of Wisconsin’s $88.3 billion agriculture industry.
* Governor Walker has increased the number of acres that can be designated Agricultural Enterprise Areas. This year the program grew to 940,000 acres. Farmers are eligible for tax credits in these areas in exchange for preserving farmland.
* Governor Walker also signed into law a sales tax exemption for fertilizer blending, feed milling, and grain drying operations. Governor Walker extended agriculture loan guarantees so more farmers can get financing if they need it.
* Governor Walker signed the Implements of Husbandry law allowing farmers to use modern farming machinery on state and local roads.
* A $6.4 million program has been established to fund up to 10 manure digester projects for small farmers over the next four years.
* Governor Walker appointed a farmer to the DNR Board.