The following statement can be attributed to Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Jim Holte:
“We are always honored to have Governor Walker attend Ag Day at the Capitol but this year his visit was extra special. Following his address to approximately 400 farmers announcing new rural and agriculture initiatives, he signed an executive order to provide markets for family farmers and agribusinesses.
As our state’s farmers are faced with low commodity prices we are encouraged that the executive order asks the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to amplify its efforts to increase the markets for Wisconsin products both domestically and internationally.
Among the Governor’s rural and agriculture initiatives, we are pleased to hear that he is looking toward a long-term investment in rural areas with his proposed Rural Economic Development Fund of $50 million a year.
The Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant program lets farmers be an active voice in discussions regarding conservation practices in their area. The popular grant program encourages farmers to work with land conservation departments and conservation groups in addressing water quality and soil preservation. The additional $500,000 the Governor proposes to invest in this program is welcomed.
Lastly, the young people of Wisconsin agriculture are the future of farming in this state. Across Governor Walker’s rural economic development proposals these young people are in mind. We are thrilled that the funds from the Dairy 30×20 program, which has already achieved its goal, will be recycled into scholarships for young people heading back to a rural community.
These rural economic initiatives are most definitely a step in the right direction.”