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Senate Ag Panel Holds Hearing on Romanski Appointment
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 05/06/2021

Both Democrat at Republican members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture expressed praise while questioning Agriculture Secretary-designee Randy Romanski during his confirmation hearing at the State Capitol on Wednesday. As Gov. Tony Evers' second nominee to lead the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Romanski said he has been serving the agency with a personal set of values over the past 18 months and is looking forward to working with the legislature for the remainder of the governor's term in office.

"I would like to continue in this position at the department," Romanski testified on his own behalf. "I was humbled when Governor Evers selected me and am honored to serve as the secretary-designee. I've done this job before and I believe I've done it well."

Romanski was first chosen as an interim department head when the State Senate rejected Brad Pfaff's nomination in November 2019; and then was quickly elevated to secretary-designee on June 1, 2020. Pfaff has since been elected to the Senate and serves on the very committee that held yesterday's hearing.

"You and I have had a relationship for a longtime and I value that relationship," Sen. Pfaff said. "I'm very proud of you and you have my full support."

Fellow Democrats Jon Erpenbach, Lena Taylor and Jeff Smith also complemented Romanski on his handling of the DATCP since taking charge--especially during the COVID pandemic--as did GOP committee members Joan Ballweg, Jerry Petrowski and Howard Marklein.

"I feel cabinet secretaries need to be connected to the industries they represent," Sen. Marklein stated. "When it comes to agriculture, I think the majority of the farm groups support your confirmation. I would encourage you to stay in contact with your constituents on the ground, such as actual farmers and food processors."

Representatives from Cooperative Network and the Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association were also on hand to express their support for Ramanski's confirmation, along with written recommendations submitted on behalf of most of the state's other commodity and producer groups.

The final step in the process will be in the hands of the full Senate, where a vote is expected to be held in the coming weeks.

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