MADISON – On March 29, more than 250 farmers and agriculturists gathered at the Monona Terrace in Madison for Ag Day at the Capitol.
Ag Day at the Capitol is an annual event for Wisconsin farmers and agriculturists to learn more about state issues affecting agriculture and meet with their state legislators.
“We appreciate our members taking time off their farms to speak up on key issues impacting our rural communities,” said WFBF Executive Director of Governmental Relations Jason Mugnaini. “The strength of our rural community lies within the voices of our state’s farmers and the ability to share their stories with their legislators.”
Attendees started the day with Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Randy Romanski who served as the event’s keynote speaker. Secretary Romanski outlined initiatives impacting agriculture outlined in the 2023-25 biennial state budget, including increasing trade opportunities, investments to the processing industry and connecting the general public with agriculture.
He encouraged farmers and agriculturists to continue to be strong advocates for Wisconsin’s rural communities.
“Events like Ag Day at the Capitol are great because we have the opportunity to talk on common interests,” said Sec. Romanski. “I am appreciative of your efforts and the efforts of our legislators that collectively help us move agriculture forward.”
Following the Secretary’s speech, the afternoon session was a legislative panel comprised of Senators Howard Marklein and Joan Ballweg, and Representatives Tony Kurtz and Nancy VanderMeer.
The panel discussed:
- Agriculture’s role in developing solutions to protect the food supply and government’s role in aiding that protection.
- Pressing issues facing Wisconsin agriculture in the current budget cycle.
- The statewide need for rural road infrastructure improvements.
- Farmer-led conservation initiatives including producer-led watershed programming.
The program concluded with issue briefings with a strong focus on farm supply chain protection. Topics included improvements to local transportation, labor, animal health and disease prevention, and food distribution and aggregation solutions. Additional issue briefings focused on farmer-led conservation, rural prosperity and the organization’s legislative session priorities.
The afternoon’s program concluded with attendees traveling to the Capitol where they met with legislators from their respective areas.
Rural Mutual Insurance Company and GROWMARK Inc. are major sponsors of the event. Co-sponsors of the event, with Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, include the Dairy Business Association, Professional Dairy Producers, Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, Wisconsin Hemp Alliance, Wisconsin Horse Council, Wisconsin Pork Association, Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, Wisconsin Soybean Association and the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.
The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization, representing farms of every size, commodity and management style.