Farmers meet with lawmakers during Ag Day at the Capitol

Wisconsin Farm Bureau
Sawyer County Farm Bureau members (from left) Andrew Winiarczyk, Dale Beissel and Mike Robers stopped for a photo outside the Capitol.

MADISON – More than 300 farmers and agriculturists met in Madison on March 20 for this year’s Ag Day at the Capitol.

The program kicked off with a transportation panel comprised of Wisconsin DOT Secretary-Designee Craig Thompson, WFBF President Jim Holte, Wisconsin Counties Association Executive Director Mark O’Connell and Dan Cunningham, Forward Janesville, Inc. The panel members discussed transportation items in the Governor’s budget proposal and what funding possibilities would be viable moving forward.

“Maintaining and funding rural roads is desperately needed in Wisconsin,” WFBF President Jim Holte said. “We cannot lose sight of the importance of rural infrastructure for our farmers and rural residents.”

The featured guest speaker was Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary-Designee Brad Pfaff who talked with attendees about dairy, hemp and water. He emphasized his rural roots and upbringing on a farm in rural La Crosse County and shared his plans to have DACTP help farmers in whatever way it can.

After legislative issue briefings by various speakers, attendees walked to the Capitol to meet with their legislators.

“This year’s meetings had a strong focus on the Governor’s budget proposal and ensuring agriculture programs are well-funded,” added President Holte. “Farm Bureau members also stressed the importance of farmers having a seat at the table for water-related discussions.”

Monroe County Farm Bureau members Tony Bowers (left) and Jack Herricks spoke with their legislators about the state budget proposal and the challenges of the current farm economy.

Rural Mutual Insurance Company and GROWMARK Inc. were major sponsors of the event. Co-sponsors of the event, with Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, included 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.