Dairy Farmers Urged to Participate in State Budget Process


STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Over the next few weeks, members of the Wisconsin Legislature will work on developing the next biennial budget. During that time, they will receive requests from various interests across the state looking to spend the current $7 billion surplus and the revenue that will be generated over the next two years.

Jennifer Wickman urges everyone in production agriculture, especially dairy farmers, to get involved in this important legislative process by personally contacting their representatives in the State Assembly and Senators, and by attending public hearings on the budget.

“If you’re not at the table in this process, you could end up on the menu,” he warned.

Wickman is the director of Wisconsin government affairs for the Cooperative Network, an organization that advocates for 18 agricultural, electric power, health care and insurance-related cooperatives and their members in the Wisconsin and Minnesota state capitols.

jennifer wickman

The goal of the Cooperative Network is to ensure there is adequate and increased funding for grower-led watershed grants, cover crop insurance, nitrogen optimization grant program, dairy processor grants, agricultural imports, land conservation Crop and Commodity Food Bank of Wisconsin.

legislator education

Wichman stressed the need to help state legislators understand the important role agriculture plays in the state’s overall economy. “Agriculture generates $104 billion for the Wisconsin economy and creates 435,000 jobs. Dairy has an economic impact of $45 billion, which is double that of tourism,” he noted.