Wisconsin cheesemakers like governor’s ag budget proposals
February 17, 2021 By Larry Lee Filed Under: Ag economy, Ag Policy, Dairy, Dairy, News, State Legislature, Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association likes several of the proposals announced by Governor Tony Evers for the biennial budget.
John Umhoefer tells Brownfield the Wisconsin Initiative for Agricultural Exports is a targeted investment that would help move the marketplace. “We’re not looking for handouts and any dairy farmer or cheesemaker will tell you that, but if you can put things like the two million that he proposed for ag exports just to help us get some of our members and some of our marketers more educated in how to get overseas with our product, that could pay off a hundredfold.”
Umhoefer says his members are also excited to see a proposed expansion of the Dairy Processor Grant program. “It’s small right now, 200-thousand dollars, but it does these nice nuts and bolts little $20,000 sort of incubator-size grants that allow small and medium-size processors to say hire a consultant to consider a new market or buy that targeted piece of equipment.”
Umhoefer says the cheese makers also support the Governor’s plan to invest 200-million dollars in broadband expansion and add nearly 20 million to food pantries and food security efforts.
The Governor’s budget now goes to the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, where Republicans in control have already said many of Evers’ proposals won’t make it, and the billion in new proposed taxes will have opposition.
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