In June, the state of Wisconsin celebrates her dairy farmers. It's only appropriate that we take a whole month to honor them as they have hewn a heritage out of Wisconsin’s fertile soil, thriving livestock, and hardworking families. Agriculture on the whole is part of the twin spine of Wisconsin’s economy. Manufacturing and agriculture are our history, but they are also our future. Dairy Month is a yearly reminder of how important agriculture is to our state.
It's not just that our agricultural communities help put milk, eggs, beef, corn, and cranberries on our kitchen tables. We ought to celebrate all of our farmers because when they succeed, Wisconsin succeeds. Agriculture contributes more than $100 billion to our economy and nearly half a million jobs.
Agriculture is a crucial leader in Wisconsin exports. Currently, Wisconsin sends nearly $4 billion in agriculture products annually to roughly 150 countries. As a result, agriculture and state prosperity are deeply intertwined.
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When I was lieutenant governor and Wisconsin jobs ambassador, I championed making Wisconsin a state that exports our goods. Wisconsin passed regulatory reform to help farmers continue their work during my time in office, and property taxes were lower in 2018 than in 2010.
Unfortunately, our farming community gets lip service from politicians who want to score political points at this time of year. But actions speak louder than words, and Tony Evers has used his power as our governor to farmers' detriment.
To appease Madison liberals and their green agenda, Evers consistently proposes policies that would harm farmers instead of working together to benefit the entire state. The first thing his rural prosperity task force did was propose unlimited property tax increases on our farmers. In his first state budget, Evers tried to repeal the manufacturing and agriculture tax credit that helped lighten the financial load on our farming community. And instead of working with farmers, he consistently fights to push through crushing regulations that are estimated to cost the average dairy farm $30,000 and hundreds of millions statewide.
None of this even compares to the out-of-control inflation that Democrats like Joe Biden and Tony Evers have caused with liberal radical spending plans, reliance on foreign energy, and supply chain issues. As a result, labor, fuel, seed, and fertilizer are more expensive, threatening farmers' bottom lines and livelihoods.
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Farmers need a partner, not an out-of-touch governor and his swamp bureaucrats handing out unrealistic decrees from Madison to pay for their woke pet projects. As governor, I'll work with our ag community to prioritize rural needs.
Together, we can enhance state agricultural exports and open up new markets to sell what we produce to other states and countries. When it comes to environmental improvements, my focus will be on producer-led initiatives so we can collaborate and find truly long-lasting progress. For example, we need to work with Wisconsin farmers to maximize their resources to create Wisconsin energy and increase farm income. We can also change the Department of Natural Resources to ensure decisions are made by real science and free of Madison-centric political interference. (And you can be sure I'll be a vocal proponent of allowing the hunt of the gray wolf!)
When I'm governor, farmers can know they will have an advocate fighting on their behalf — not against them. We must work together to ensure that Wisconsin farmers can afford to do their excellent work here. Our state’s success depends on it.
-- Rebecca Kleefisch
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Last Update: Jun 06, 2022 6:35 am CDT