Farm Bureau and Cheese Makers Support JCF

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is supportive of the recent votes from the Joint Committee on Finance members on issues that impact the state’s farming community.

“Wisconsin Farm Bureau appreciates the work of the Joint Committee on Finance and thanks them for passing several key provisions that will have a direct impact on farmers and rural residents in the state,” said WFBF’s Executive Director of Governmental Relations Jason Mugnaini.

Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) members are applauding action taken tonight by Wisconsin’s powerful Joint Finance Committee (JFC) to grow the state’s $46 billion dairy industry.

“Innovation and export engagement are critical to the long-term stability and success of Wisconsin’s dairy farming and processing community,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA Executive Director. “Our thanks go to lawmakers who have championed targeted investments in Wisconsin’s signature industry.”

WCMA recognizes the work of JFC members Rep. Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc) and Sen. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan), as well as the leadership of JFC co-chairs Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam).  WCMA members also thank Gov. Tony Evers for advocating for increases in funding for the Dairy Processor Grant Program and support for the Wisconsin Initiative on Agricultural Exports.

The committee adopted the following budget items:

Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection

  • An additional $800,000 per year for meat processor grants.
  • An additional $300,000 per year for grants to dairy processors.
  • $2 million for the Wisconsin Agricultural Export Promotion program
  • Farmer mental health funding of $100,000 per year.
  • $2 million for nitrogen optimization pilot program grants.
  • $70,000 per year for livestock premises registration.
  • An additional $50,000 per year for Wisconsin Agriculture in the Classroom Program.
  • Provided $1.6 million for cover crop rebates.
  • Maintain funding for producer-led watershed protection grants.

Department of Natural Resources

  • $500,000 in 2024-25 for well compensation and well abandonment grants.
  • $6.5 million for rural nonpoint source water pollution abatement grants.
  • An additional $200,000 per year for Targeted Runoff Management grants.

“These are important priorities that we are pleased and excited to see included in the proposed budget,” Mugnaini said. “We appreciate the leadership of the Joint Committee on Finance for the inclusion of these provisions and look forward to continuing to work on these issues.”

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization representing farms of different sizes, commodities and management styles.