The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) held the first Wisconsin Agricultural Export Advisory Council meeting on at WEDC headquarters in Madison. This council helps guide the initiatives created through the Wisconsin Initiative for Agricultural Exports (WIAE), a collaborative project proposed in Governor Tony Evers’ budget between DATCP and WEDC to promote the export of Wisconsin’s agricultural products.
During the meeting, the council, along with DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski and WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes, discussed current export trends, opportunities for increasing Wisconsin agricultural exports, and trade challenges. Council members were also able to learn more about current and planned WIAE activities and how DATCP and WEDC continue to work together on growing Wisconsin exports. The meeting provided a platform for industry representatives to discuss future opportunities for collaboration across product sectors and the future of the WIAE.
“Governor Evers invested in Wisconsin agricultural exporters to connect Wisconsin’s quality dairy products, crops, specialty crops, genetics, and meat products with the growing interest in international markets,” said DATCP Secretary Romanski. “This council of industry representatives and policymakers will be a valuable tool in supporting Wisconsin’s agricultural export growth as we strive to meet the benchmarks outlined in the WIAE. Today’s meeting demonstrated that Wisconsin’s agriculture industry is motivated to share our commodities with the world, and that we can find ways to overcome trade challenges by working together.”
“As we’ve seen in the past year, demand for Wisconsin exports of all types has grown and will continue to grow. Wisconsin products are second to none, and we’re excited for the chance to expand our state’s presence in the global market,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Hughes.
During the meeting, members elected Charles Wachsmuth, Chippewa Valley Bean, as Chair and Chad Vincent, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, as Vice Chair. The council will meet at least twice per year and will serve as a sounding board for DATCP and WEDC. Meetings are open to the public, and are expected to have virtual attendance options. The council includes international trade experts from WEDC and DATCP, state legislators, and agriculture organizations and agribusinesses representing crop, dairy, and meat products. For a list of council members and their biographies, visit https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents2/WIAE-WAXCBios.pdf.
Wisconsin agricultural exports reached an all-time high of $3.96 billion in 2021. Through the WIAE, DATCP is working collaboratively with WEDC to build on that momentum by promoting Wisconsin agricultural products in the international marketplace. The WIAE provides flexibility to respond to exporting challenges and facilitates unique opportunities that connect exporters with international markets and buyers.