Farm Bill initiatives to benefit Wisconsin farmers funded for 2020
Funding for two initiatives, both investments for Wisconsin farmers, were included a government funding agreement for 2020. Both of these investments for Wisconsin farmers are included in the government funding agreement that will be voted on in Congress this week.
The FARMERS FIRST Act, included in the 2018 Farm Bill from last year is fully funded for 2020, an increase of $8 million from 2019. The reform provides competitive grant funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to state departments of agriculture, state extension services, non-profits and tribes to establish helplines and websites, provide suicide prevention training for farm advocates, create support groups and reestablish the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN).
“Our Wisconsin farmers are facing many difficult challenges and we all need to work together to provide them the support they need, including more funding for local mental health resources,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin who introduced the initiative with Senator Joni Ernst.
Additionally, the Dairy Business Innovation Initiative gained funding of $20 million, which helps dairy businesses looking to get their start, grow their business, modernize their dairy plants and reach new markets. The act was also included in the 2018 Farm Bill.
“Wisconsin’s dairy businesses are a key driver of our state’s economy, but recently our dairy farmers have faced very challenging times with an oversupply of milk, low milk prices and tough impacts from tariffs,” said Senator Baldwin. “It’s critical that farmers, cheesemakers and dairy processors have tools to innovate and develop new Made in Wisconsin dairy products to build a brighter future for our dairy farms and drive our rural economy forward.”