On January 31, more than 275 farmers and agriculturists gathered at the Monona Terrace in Madison for Ag Day at the Capitol.
Ag Day at the Capitol is an annual event for Wisconsin farmers and agriculturists to learn more about state issues affecting agriculture and meet with their state legislators.
Attendees started the day with a welcome from Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Brad Olson, a video message from Gov. Tony Evers and comments from Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Randy Romanski. Secretary Romanski encouraged farmers in attendance to stay connected with their legislators on both the state and federal level.
“It is really important for you to continue to do things like this,” said Romanski. “Whether it is your first time or one hundredth time speaking to your legislators, your voice matters.”
Following the Secretary’s speech, Wisconsin Realtors Association’s Director of Political and Governmental Affairs Joe Murray served as the event’s featured speaker. Murray shared what constituents can expect for a political outlook in the coming year.
The afternoon session was a legislative panel on several current issues impacting agriculture in the state legislature. The panel was moderated by WFBF Executive Director of Governmental Relations Jason Mugnaini and was comprised of Senators Patrick Testin, Brad Pfaff and Joan Ballweg, and Representatives Tony Kurtz, Dave Considine and Travis Tranel.
The panel discussed:
- Recent investments in rural infrastructure.
- Improving access services, including affordable healthcare, for farm families.
- Government’s role in new and emerging agricultural technologies.
- Ensuring a stable workforce for sustainable growth in agriculture.
The program concluded with issue briefings with a strong focus on encouraging the passage of AB 860 and SB 811, legislation which would allow Wisconsin Farm Bureau to provide members with a unique and affordable health coverage plan option that is currently operated by state Farm Bureaus in seven other states.
Additional topics included:
- Protecting animal agriculture from overreaching local regulation.
- Upcoming ARIP application process.
- Supporting agricultural economic development projects in Evansville and Stevens Point.
The afternoon’s program concluded with attendees walking to the Capitol where they met with their legislators from their respective areas.
Rural Mutual Insurance Company and GROWMARK Inc. are major sponsors of the event. Co-sponsors of the event, with Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, include the Dairy Business Association, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, Wisconsin Hemp Alliance, Wisconsin Horse Council, Wisconsin Pork Association, Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, Wisconsin Soybean Association and the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.