Senator Jeff Smith | Wis.Community

Senator Jeff Smith

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Yesterday, January 27

  • 11:49pm

    During the State of the State, Governor Tony Evers reflected on the accomplishments made in 2019 and the priorities we must carry out in the year ahead. As we draw closer to the end of this legislative session, we have a stronger sense of urgency to get things done.

     

    Governor Evers showed exemplary leadership and his willingness to tackle the serious issues in our state during his State of the State Address. Along with his effort to create a Fair Maps Commission and Task Force on Student Debt, Evers announced a 3 part plan to address the visible challenges affecting our farmers and rural communities.

     

    Finally, Wisconsin has a leader who values the dedication of our family farmers, recognizes Wisconsin’s role as America’s Dairyland and wants to learn from those who live and work in rural Wisconsin.

     

    The Legislature is wrapping up session too soon. The Majority Party has neglected to hold public hearings or schedule votes on legislation that offer solutions to some of the most pressing issues in our state, including the dairy crisis. Wisconsin lost more than a third of dairy farms in the last decade, losing 800 in 2019 alone. At a time when local, family farms are disappearing rapidly and Wisconsin is leading the nation in farm bankruptcies, we need to take action.

     

    During the State of the State, Evers called for a special session for the Legislature to take up 8 bills to support our farmers and invest in our agricultural industries and rural communities. I’m especially proud of the proposal to create a small farm diversity grant program to help new producers with initial start-up costs, a bill I introduced earlier this session with Rep. Vruwink (D – Milton).

     

    In the agriculture special session bill package, Governor Evers also included proposals to:

     

    ·         Create the Wisconsin Initiative for Dairy Exports to help build Wisconsin’s presence in international dairy markets.

    ·         Offer more opportunity for dairy processors who want to innovate and become more efficient in their practice through the dairy processor grant program.

    ·         Expand the Farm Center to assist farmers in financial planning and farm succession.

    ·         ...

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