MADISON – Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) showed his support for Wisconsin family farmers today as he cast his vote in favor of an Assembly Republican package of bills that will help those in the agriculture industry, both in the short-term and the long-term. The legislative package includes seven initiatives, including grants and tax credits for farmers and studies to understand how to better support the farming industry.
“Whether it’s dairy or soybeans, corn or cranberries, Wisconsin farmers have been a pillar of our state’s economy and identity for generation after generation,” said Rep. Steineke. “With almost 65,000 farms in Wisconsin, it’s imperative that we support our hard-working farmers in every way we can.”
Rep. Steineke knows the importance of prioritizing the farming industry, as Wisconsin’s agriculture industry contributes $104.8 billion to the state economy each year and accounts for 11.8% of state employment. The agriculture package of bills includes a $600,000 increase to the current dairy processing plant grants, $5 million to increase agricultural exports, a tax cut for farming equipment, and funding for research studies and reports through UW-Madison and the UW-System.
In addition to the Assembly Republican agriculture package of bills, legislation that Rep. Steineke co-authored that will allow a major dairy industry leader to expand in the Fox Valley was approved in the Assembly today. The bill would allow Agropur Inc. to expand its existing Little Chute facility, adding 40 new full-time jobs and bringing over $225 million in economic impact to Outagamie County alone. For local dairy farmers, the expansion would mean an additional $40 million in their pockets each year.
“Rural Wisconsin and our farmers have always been a priority of mine,” continued Rep. Steineke. “I’m confident that the bills we approved today are going to help struggling farmers and continue to grow our robust agriculture industry here in Wisconsin.”
The agriculture bills approved today now head to the Senate for consideration.