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Harsdorf Excited About New Farm Investment Proposals
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/26/2018

Wisconsin's new agriculture secretary says the list of investments Governor Scott Walker is proposing to bolster the state's farming industry will help protect soil and water quality, prepare students for agricultural careers, develop new market opportunities and encourage economic development. Sheila Harsdorf issued a statement after the governor signed an executive order on Wednesday to encourage agriculture market development locally, regionally and internationally.

Specifically, the order directs DATCP to provide technical assistance, referrals and educational seminars for the Wisconsin agriculture industry in its efforts to explore new markets and product opportunities.

"Wisconsin's agricultural industry is recognized worldwide for our diverse and quality products," Harsdorf said. "DATCP will continue to collaborate with farmers and agribusinesses as we work to increase profitability by developing new products and identifying new market opportunities for Wisconsin's agricultural products."

One of the new initiatives is the Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant program, which supports the establishment of farmer-led projects to address unique soil and water quality challenges of their local landscapes and communities using innovative and collaborative approaches. In his announcement, Walker proposes adding an additional $500,000 each fiscal year over the biennium.

He also directed the agency to fund a scholarship program through the newly-created Family Farm Fund. These funds will encourage students to take ag-related courses for a career in agriculture.

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