Walker budget maintains Wisconsin Ag Department “core missions”

Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Ben Brancel says Governor Scott Walker’s proposed state budget “maintains the core missions” of his department. The plan cuts $1.7 million from General Purpose Revenue but Brancel says it “ensures that DATCP can be fair, efficient and effective while working for Wisconsin’s future.”

The budget makes a one-time increase in funding for the Clean Sweep Program for grants to realign the timing of contracts and make sure funds are available for counties and municipalities when those contracts are made.  It continues the Agrichemical Management fund and the Agricultural Chemical Cleanup fund but prevents those funds from being used to fill other budget needs.  “We are making an effort to use those fees generated by farmers for only the use they were intended,” says the Secretary.

The budget provides $200,000 for grants for technical services for the state’s dairy processors. This is designed to complement the state’s Dairy 30 x 20 producer program.

The spending plan maintains $250,000 to maintain the computer system and data for the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium premises registration program.

The capital budget contains half of the requested funding to upgrade the facilities used by World Dairy Expo, the Midwest Horse Fair and other livestock events at the Alliant Energy Center. It also provides half of the funding to renovate Babcock Hall on the University of Wisconsin campus.

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