Wisconsin’s Governor, Democrats propose new food and ag bills
Wisconsin’s Governor and legislative Democrats have introduced a new series of food and agriculture bills.
During a Tuesday stop at World Dairy Expo, Governor Tony Evers says one of the bills calls for creating a meat talent development program, “to provide more than 2.6 million dollars in grants to target meat industry workforce development and spur that growth which is critically important.”
If passed, Evers says the meat talent development program would use 2.6 million dollars to help train more meat cutters. “We’re doing what we can around upgrading those local and regional processors, but we need to have the human beings that are doing some of the important work, and reimbursing their tuition at an 80% level.”
DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski says the meat talent development proposal was part of the Governor’s budget proposal, but it didn’t get through the Legislature. Romanski is hopeful the stand-alone bill gets support. “This is just another opportunity to continue the discussions, and hopefully, we’ll see this get some conversation. You know, again, we hear this all throughout the agriculture industry. There is a need for talent.”
Evers said the legislation introduced Tuesday would add 20-million-dollars to help food banks and pantries buy food from Wisconsin producers. It would also add funding to the Farm to School and Farm to Fork programs, create a new regional Farmer Mental Health Program, and add funds for the Something Special from Wisconsin brands.
The introduction of the legislation has been praised by agriculture groups including Wisconsin Farmers Union and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.