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Ripp Tapped as DATCP Assistant Deputy Secretary
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/02/2018

Rep. Keith Ripp of Lodi, a third-generation farmer and longtime Assemblyman serving Wisconsin's 42nd District, has resigned his post at the Capitol to take a top spot at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in Madison. Governor Scott Walker and DATCP Secretary Sheila Harsdorf announced on Friday that Ripp will serve as the agency's assistant deputy secretary, where he will oversee policy development and administration, as well as lead relations with external stakeholders.

First elected as a state representative in 2008, Ripp, who is 56, has chaired the transportation and consumer protection committees, and was vice-chair of the committee on local government. He was also member of the assembly's agriculture committee.

"I am proud to be a Wisconsin farmer, and it is truly an honor to now be able to serve the agricultural industry as Assistant Deputy Secretary," said Ripp, who's appointment began on January 1. "I know DATCP has a wide range of responsibilities. I look forward to working with the agency's knowledgeable staff to address challenges and take advantage of new opportunities."

He further said in a statement that he understands the significance of maintaining and improving Wisconsin's strong agricultural heritage now and in the future.

"During my time in the State Assembly, I was proud to advocate for Wisconsin's Ag industry. By applying my personal knowledge as a full-time farmer and professional experience owning and operating a small business, I was successful in solving numerous local and state problems impacting Wisconsin's diverse agricultural industry as well as our well-rounded economy."

Outside of politics, Ripp is a former president of both the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association and Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board. He was also a former president and co-founder of Badger Agvest and Lodi FFA Alumni.

Ripp was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course program. In addition to raising livestock and grain on their family's farm, he and his wife, Lori, own and operate a small trucking business.

Meanwhile, Sen. Frank Lasee of De Pere also resigned his Senate seat last week to take a position as the administrator for the Department of Workforce Development's Worker's Compensation Division.

Walker does not plan to hold special elections for either of the vacancies since 2018 is an election year.

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