Column: Get to Meet Joan Ballweg, New Ag Committee Chair

By Joan Ballweg, State Senator for the 14th Senate District of Wisconsin

As the new state senator for the 14th Senate District, I wanted to introduce myself and my new office. I am here to serve my constituents and want to thank you for the faith you have shown in me. I am committed to being your voice in the state Capitol and look forward to hearing your feedback on legislative issues this session.

I hold this position with a great sense of responsibility. Luther Olsen was the senator for the 14th Senate District for many years and accomplished much in his time in the legislature. I want to thank him for his service and the dedication he had in serving the constituents in his district. He and his office were great resources in the past.

For the last eight legislative sessions, I served as the state representative for the 41st Assembly District. I hope to build upon the work I started and look forward to new opportunities in the Senate.

Earlier this year, I was appointed to the Joint Committee on Finance. This committee is responsible for crafting the state budget and overseeing the allocation of money to state agencies and services. In this role, I will work to ensure we craft a balanced budget that supports our local communities and maintains the high level of government Wisconsin is known for.

In addition, I was named chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Tourism and a member of the Committees on Human Services, Children & Families and Natural Resources & Energy. My family has owned a farm equipment business for many years and supporting the agricultural community has always been an area of focus for me. I have already begun to reach out to stakeholders and look forward to leading this committee.

I also plan to continue my focus on suicide prevention. Last session, I was the chair of the Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention. The bipartisan task force held multiple productive listening sessions across the state which focused on prevention efforts for at-risk communities such as youth, veterans, first responders, law enforcement and farmers. Moving forward, I hope to continue to work to find ways to support those who are struggling.

As this legislative session begins, please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns. We are here to support you if you need help with a state agency, have questions on legislation or have any other concerns surrounding state government. Please feel free to call my office in Madison at (608) 266-0751, or email me at [email protected]. Also, make sure to ask to sign up for my e-newsletter for regular updates from my office! I look forward to working with you and my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly to keep Wisconsin moving in the right direction.