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State Senate Confirms Romanski as DATCP Secretary
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 09/29/2021

For the first time in 995 days, Wisconsin has an 'officially confirmed' person in charge at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. On Tuesday, the state Senate approved Gov. Tony Evers' nomination of Randy Romanski to lead the agency after naming him the cabinet member-designee nearly two years ago.

"This is an exciting day and a longtime coming," Romanski told Wisconsin Ag Connection during a stop at World Dairy Expo on Tuesday.

This is the second time in Romanski's political career where was elevated to lead the department. He was serving as deputy DATCP secretary under Brad Pfaff, Evers' original cabinet pick who was rejected by the Senate during a confirmation hearing in November 2019. The governor then immediately called upon Romanski to serve as interim-secretary, then secretary-desginee a short time later.

Romanski previously served as former Gov. Jim Doyle's deputy chief of staff and also held staff positions in both the Senate and the Assembly, working directly on agricultural, rural affairs and natural resources issues. He then served as deputy secretary of DATCP from 2007 through 2010 until the untimely death of then-Secretary Rod Nilsestuen in July of that year. Randy then took on full responsibility for the final four months of Doyle's term.

After Scott Walker was elected governor in 2010, he served as the safety program chief in DOT's Division of State Patrol.

A graduate of University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Romanski has a master's degree in public administration from the UW-Madison's Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs.

Meanwhile, several farm organizations praised the Senate's move. Dairy Business Association President Amy Peterman said Romanski has built a long-standing and productive relationship with the dairy community.

"Over the past 18 months, especially, he has shown steady leadership through some of the biggest challenges our farmers and processors have ever faced due to the pandemic," Peterman said. "Consistent cooperation between the agriculture department and dairy community is vital to our farm families, rural communities and overall economy."

John Umhoefer with the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association added that Romanski has been a valuable partner in terms of regulatory flexibility, the creation of new aid programs, and clear, open communication.

The Senate also confirmed the cabinet nominations of Missy Hughes as secretary of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and Craig Thompson to lead the Department of Transportation.

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