New Wisconsin Agricultural Export Advisory Council selected

Wisconsin State Farmer

A diverse group of agriculture advocates have been selected to help promote the export of Wisconsin's agricultural and agribusiness products.

Members of the newly created Wisconsin Agricultural Export Advisory Council (WAXC), will also help to guide the initiatives created through the Wisconsin Initiative for Agricultural Exports (WIAE), a collaborative project between Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

Randy Romanski

“DATCP recognizes the importance of ensuring that stakeholders and policymakers have a seat at the table as we work to increase the export of Wisconsin products,” said DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski in a news release. “This council will not only help provide strategic review of the WIAE plan, but also promote WIAE activities, amplify stakeholder export initiatives, and provide a platform to encourage collaboration among the industry.”

The council includes international trade experts from WEDC and DATCP, state legislators, and agriculture organizations and agribusinesses representing crop, dairy, and meat products.

“Wisconsin’s agricultural exports are respected and in-demand around the world,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “With the resources Governor Evers has provided, the active support of DATCP and WEDC, and the expertise of the council members, we have the tools in place to help our agricultural producers expand their global presence.”

Secretary for Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Missy Hughes at the  Robert E. Ellsworth Correctional Center in Racine County on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.

The council will meet for the first time at 9 a.m. May 4, 2022, at the WEDC headquarters in Madison. The group will meet at least twice a year. These meetings are open to the public, and are expected to have virtual attendance options. 

The council members and initial terms are:

Ex Officio

Sen. Jeff Smith, Sen. Joan Ballweg, Rep. Dave Considine and Rep. Tony Kurtz.

At Large

Craig Briess, CEO, Briess Industries, 2022-24; Kevin Krentz, president, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, 2022-25.

Crop Industry Representatives

Brandon Bickham, Sr. Export Director, Delong, 2022-25; Brian Cummins, director, Wisconsin Distillers Guild, 2022-23; Jackie Fett, executive director, Ginseng Board of Wisconsin, 2022-23; Larry Krueger, owner, Krueger Lumber, 2022-24; Charles Wachsmuth, vice president, Chippewa Valley Bean, 2022-23; Bob Wilson, managing member, The Cranberry Network, 2022-25; and Kevin Lipps, vice president of International Sales, Seneca, 2022-24.

Dairy Industry Representatives

Chad Vincent, CEO, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, 2022-25; Ryan Wucherer, director of global sales, MCT Dairies, 2022-23; and Jeff Schwager, CEO, Sartori, 2022-24.

Meat Industry Representatives

Amy Radunz, president-elect, Wisconsin Beef Council, 2022-25; Keith Heikes, CEO, GENEX, 2022-23; and Bob Fitzgerald, vice president of international sales, Johnsonville ,2022-24.

Wisconsin agricultural exports reached an all-time high of $3.96 billion in 2021. Through the WIAE, DATCP is working collaboratively with WEDC to build on that momentum by promoting Wisconsin agricultural products in the international marketplace. For more information on the WIAE, sign up for email updates and visit the DATCP website.