GREEN BAY, Wis. — A board member of the state’s largest dairy lobbying group who served on the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0 asked state leaders to back the task force’s recommendations, including a proposed Dairy Innovation Hub.
After months of work identifying ways to keep the dairy community viable, the task force on Friday officially put forth its recommendations. One of its chief items was the dairy hub, a University of Wisconsin System proposal to add researchers at the system’s three agricultural colleges –– in Madison, Platteville and River Falls. The research would focus on land and water use, human health and nutrition, animal health and welfare, and farm businesses and rural communities.
In its proposed state budget, the state Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee designates $1 million in the first year of the two-year spending plan and $7.8 million in the second for the dairy hub.
The following statement is from Amy Penterman, a dairy farmer from Thorp, Wis., who served on the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0 and is a member of the Dairy Business Association’s board of directors.
“I was honored to serve on the task force. We appreciate Governor Walker convening the group, Governor Evers continuing the effort and so many other fellow stakeholders for their dedication.
“I hope those in state government take a careful look at our conclusions. One of the key recommendations is that we invest in dairy research through the Dairy Innovation Hub. Financial challenges, customer trends and other factors make this is a critical time for our dairy community. We are at a crossroads.
“The dairy hub would keep farmers, processors and others at the forefront of innovation and help secure a successful future for America’s Dairyland. As a leader of the Dairy Business Association and a member of the task force, I urge our lawmakers to keep the hub funding in the version of the budget that is sent to Governor Evers and for the governor to approve it.”
The Joint Finance Committee’s budget plan, including the dairy hub, is under consideration in the state Assembly. Both the Assembly and Senate would have to sign off before sending it to the governor, who has veto authority.
— Dairy Business Association
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