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Evers' Announcement on Direct Farm Payments Coming Soon
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 05/13/2020

Wisconsin's governor says he needs another day or two before announcing how his administration plans to help support the agricultural industry with some of the federal funding the state received through the recently passed CARES Act. During his opening remarks on the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin's Dairy Signal webcast on Tuesday, Tony Evers said he was planning to have details on the disbursement by now, but needs to finish up some of the final logistics first.

"I know having access to capital is critical to farming and I know cash flow has been an issue to everybody in the industry," Gov. Evers said. "And although it won't be enough to make everyone whole, I believe there will be an opportunity to provide some direct aid from the CARES money provided to Wisconsin. I was hoping to have this information today, but we are very close, with in a day or two, in announcing what that package will look like."

Evers and Interim DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski have been working with a coalition of farm organizations that earlier requested about $50 million in direct payments to producers to help them cover some of their losses since the governor's Stay at Home order caused schools and restaurants to close two months ago.

The governor also told PDPW members that he anticipates the application process for these disbursements to be simple with less bureaucracy than normal.

When asked where producers should look to for additional financial help, Evers said the federal government would have a greater capacity than the state through commodity purchasing and additional stimulus relief.

"I'll put it bluntly, we have to balance our budget, they don't. We cannot run deficits at the state level," he said. "In the area of ag, because there has always been a strong connection between the health of the nation and agriculture, we need to continue to advocate for their help."

He also praised many of the state's dairy cooperatives and processors for donating millions of dollars and thousands of pounds of dairy products to food pantries in recent weeks.

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