Madison, WI – As Veterans day approaches, bi-partisan legislation to help Wisconsin veterans transition into farming has cleared its last legislative hurdle. The bi-partisan Wisconsin Veterans Farm Bill of 2017, authored by Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) and Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee), and co-authored by Rep. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg) and Sen. Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville), has passed the both the Senate and the Assembly.
The bill will create a program at the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to assist military veterans who seek to become farmers, while also authorizing the creation of a logotype for veteran farmer products.
“Since day one, we’ve made the point that this legislation is pro-veteran, pro-agriculture, and pro-workforce,” said Representative. Goyke.
“It makes investments in the future of Wisconsin’s agricultural economy, and the futures of our veterans. The legislation will accomplish changes in State law to benefit current and future veteran farmers – both rural and urban. I am proud to author it and thank all of the state agencies and stakeholders for their help and support in helping craft this important bill.”
While the bill focuses on bolstering the farm workforce and giving consumers the opportunity to choose veteran produced goods, its benefits reach beyond economics.
“We believe that this program can help save lives,” said Senator Testin. “Studies have shown that rigorous physical work, can have a therapeutic effect for those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and in the three years since West Virginia passed similar legislation, eight veterans have publicly testified that their involvement kept them from suicide.”
The bill now heads to Governor Walker’s desk.