Senate Republicans confirm Romanski as state Ag Secretary

Wisconsin State Farmer
Randy Romanski addresses the crowd on opening day of 2021 Farm Technology Days in Eau Claire, Wis. Romanski was officially confirmed as Secretary of the state's Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021.

It has taken 15 months, but state Senate Republicans finally confirmed Randy Romanski, Gov. Tony Evers' Cabinet pick for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Romanski was among four Evers' Cabinet appointees that the Senate overwhelmingly confirmed on Tuesday.

Amy Penterman, president of the Dairy Business Association congratulated Romanski on his confirmation and thanked the Senate for recognizing the value Romanski brings to Wisconsin’s all-important agricultural community.

“Romanski has built a longstanding productive relationship with our dairy community. Over the past 18 months, especially, he has shown steady leadership through some of the biggest challenges our farmers and processors have ever faced due to the pandemic. Consistent cooperation between the agriculture department and dairy community is vital to our farm families, rural communities and overall economy,” Penterman said.

The Wisconsin Rapids native previously served as DATCP’s deputy secretary and secretary under then-Gov. Jim Doyle, working on issues such as farmland preservation, local foods, Farm to School and renewable energy. Romanski has also served as the executive assistant for the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Transportation.

From 2011-2019, Romanski served as the safety program chief in DOT’s Division of State Patrol. Earlier in his career, he held staff positions in the state legislature, both in the Senate and Assembly. He has also served as a policy analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Other state ag groups echoed Pentermen's praise, including the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.

“With regulatory flexibility, the creation of new aid programs, and clear, open communication, Secretaries Romanski, Missy Hughes (secretary of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp) and Craig Thompson (secretary of Transportation) have proven key partners to dairy processors and dairy farmers through the pandemic,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA Executive Director.  “We value their leadership and look forward to continuing to work with them in strengthening the dairy industry and Wisconsin’s rural communities.”

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Kevin Krentz said his group registered in support of both Secretary Romanski’s and Secretary Thompson’s nomination.

"We hope to continue working with these two leaders and their agencies on behalf of Wisconsin farmers,” Krentz said.