Agricultural Exports Initiative Sees Funds

Gov. Tony Evers, DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski and Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes are celebrating the release of funds to promote Wisconsin’s ag products.

Under 2021 Wisconsin Act 92, signed by Evers in December of last year, DATCP will work with the WEDC to increase the export of Wisconsin’s dairy, meat and crop products by 25 percent over their 2021 levels by June 30, 2026. The Joint Finance Committee released funds for the initiative on Wednesday.

“Agriculture not only plays a vital role in Wisconsin’s strong and thriving economy but is a part of our state’s heritage,” says Evers. “This investment in agricultural exports will further strengthen Wisconsin’s agricultural industry, reinforce Wisconsin as a leader in agriculture, and support the farmers, producers, and agribusinesses that have dedicated their lives to providing agricultural products to the world.”

The guv signed the 2021-23 budget this summer, marking the first time that state funding has been allocated to DATCP’s International Agribusiness Center to help promote ag exports. Wisconsin Act 92 later provided metrics for this investment.

“While Wisconsin exports continue to gain strength, there is work to be done in creating opportunities and reducing barriers for agribusiness exports,” says Romanski. “This funding will allow us to continue building our state’s agricultural brand internationally and encourage more Wisconsin agribusinesses to start or continue exporting their products.”

Wisconsin exports grew more than 18 percent last year, according to Hughes.

“There’s a growing global demand for Wisconsin goods, and our agricultural products are a key part of that strategy,” she says.

In collaboration with WEDC, DATCP submitted a strategic five-year plan for the funding, the Wisconsin Initiative for Agricultural Exports, to the Wisconsin Legislature on Dec. 31. DATCP will receive more than $558,000 this fiscal year to promote Wisconsin products, cultivate and train Wisconsin agricultural exporters, and elevate the Wisconsin brand across the world.

Planned activities include creating grant and scholarship opportunities for Wisconsin agribusinesses and organizations to coordinate trade promotion activities that facilitate positive connections between Wisconsin agribusinesses and potential buyers.