The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) said it applauds Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ budget proposals related to the state’s dairy processing industry.
“Wisconsin has a rich tradition of cheesemaking and, with targeted investments, stands to have a bright future as a global leader in dairy processing of all kinds,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA’s executive director. “We thank Gov. Tony Evers for listening to WCMA members as they’ve shared their goals for growth and innovation and for the partnership he’s offered via his budget proposal.”
WCMA said it strongly supports the following elements of the 2019-21 Executive Budget:
- An increase in funding for dairy processor grants, issued by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) for innovation, modernization and food safety projects, from $200,000 to $400,000 annually.
- An allocation of $200,000 to support the Wisconsin Initiative for Dairy Exports program, designed to help build Wisconsin’s dairy brand in international markets and increase dairy exports.
- Adjustments to DATCP expenditure authority that allow the reclassification of staff positions for the retention of key high-quality personnel;
- Full funding for the Department of Natural Resources.
- A sensible, sustainable funding source for much-needed transportation investments across the state.
“Agriculture is a backbone economy for Wisconsin, but the past few years have posed new challenges, both for processors and for our partners in the farming community,” said Umhoefer. “We are optimistic that state support — along with business ingenuity and hard work — will usher us into the next chapter of growth.”