DBA Applauds Finance Committee’s Ag Investment

The Dairy Business Association applauds the state Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance efforts to boost agricultural research and increase international exports of dairy and other products.

The committee unanimously approved funding for two previously authorized programs. The University of Wisconsin will receive $2 million over the next two years for additional agricultural specialists, and $558,400 will go this year toward helping support a new initiative aimed at promoting agricultural exports. Both efforts originated with Republican lawmakers but gained bipartisan support.

“These programs represent significant investments in agriculture in Wisconsin,” says DBA President Amy Penterman. “Where state leaders decide to commit money points to priorities. Clearly, lawmakers who championed these efforts understand the significance of agriculture to our state’s farmers, food processors, affiliated businesses and rural communities.”

She specifically recognized Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, and Rep. Mark Born, R-Beaver Dam, for working to secure the funding.

UW-Extension Specialists

Eleven new positions will be created — eight at the county level to work directly with farmers and three at the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The positions are a continuation of renewed financial support for research. Earlier this legislative session, the Legislature approved continued funding for the Dairy Innovation Hub, which was a significant investment in dairy research at three UW campuses. The Hub was created based on legislation authored by Marklein and Rep. Travis Tranel, R-Cuba City.

“The Dairy Innovation Hub and these new specialists will help Wisconsin farmers stay on the cutting edge of developments in agriculture,” says Penterman. “Our state will continue to shine as an innovative leader globally in the sustainable production of nutritious food.”


The bill creating the exports program, co-authored by Sen. Joan Ballweg, R-Markesan, and Rep. Tony Kurtz, R-Wonewoc, committed $5 million to DATCP’s Center for International Agribusiness Marketing. The recent committee approval repurposes $558,400 from elsewhere in the state budget into that total. DATCP will be able to request the same amount for 2023.

The goal is to boost exports of Wisconsin dairy, meat and other agricultural products by 25 percent within five years. Half of the total investment will be dedicated to dairy exports. DATCP will work with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.  

“This is an ambitious and worthy goal,” says Penterman. “Long-term stability and growth for the dairy community rests in large part on the opportunities we have to sell more of our high-quality food around the globe.”