Gov. Tony Evers signed Senate Bill 66, providing a longer period of service for farm service license holders, and Assembly Bill 131, maintaining a position for an active farmer on county conservation committees, into law during a ceremony in his office today. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation thanks Gov. Tony Evers and bill authors Rep. Schutt, Sen. Ballweg, Sen. Tomczyk and Rep Plumer for their efforts to help support Wisconsin’s agriculture industry.
“We greatly appreciate the support of the legislators involved in the passage of these bills and the agricultural industry stakeholders who collaborated to bring these measures to fruition,” said WFBF President Kevin Krentz. “On behalf of our state’s farmers, thank you, Governor Evers, for signing these important measures into law today.”
Assembly Bill 131, now Act 32, authored by Rep. Ellen Schutt and Sen. Joan Ballweg, ensures that there will continue to be a voice for agriculture on county conservation committees. Prior law required the appointment of representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) to represent the interests of farmers on the committees but recently FSA raised concern that having their members on these committees created a conflict of interest.
Act 32 amends the statute to instead mandate the appointment of an individual actively engaged in farming to the committees.
“With this change, we are confident that agricultural interests will continue to be well-represented in county conservation committees throughout Wisconsin,” said Krentz. “This was a needed change, and we thank Senator Ballweg and Representative Schutt for their leadership in getting it done.”
Senate Bill 66, now Act 28, authored by Sen. Corey Tomczyk and Rep. Jon Plumer, extends the allowable time-period for farmers to use the Farm Service Commercial Drivers License (CDL) endorsement. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) modified the federal standard, extending the number of allowable workdays for eligible Farm Service CDL holders from 180 to 210 days.
Act 28 aligns Wisconsin state law with this new federal standard, granting farm service employees an additional month of work under the Farm Service CDL endorsement.
“Every industry is short of drivers and agriculture is no exception,” said Krentz. “This flexibility will provide additional time for farmers and agricultural workers to complete their work and alleviate some of the pressure to find more drivers. We appreciate the efforts of Senator Tomczyk and Representative Plumer to make it happen.”