Short Course would return under WI Governor’s budget plan

Wisconsin’s Farm and Industry Short Course would come back with a provision in the Governor’s budget, but with some changes.

Randy Romanski is the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.  He says Governor Tony Evers proposed 700 thousand dollars over the biennium to bring back the hands-on farm training.  Romanski says if passed, the new short course would be led by UW River Falls with collaboration from campuses at Platteville and Madison. “It’s going to use the template of the Dairy Innovation Hub to have the institutions working together to provide instruction and networking opportunities for students planning to enter the agricultural workforce so we’re really pleased to see that continuation.”

Romanski says it’s still unclear exactly how future short-course instruction will be handled. “The details will be developed about how exactly all of those handoffs happen and how the instruction occurs but we’re pretty excited about the possibilities that exist by having this program restarted.”

Romanski says first, the Legislature must pass their budget with the Governor’s funding request, but he’s hopeful the short-course funding will see bipartisan support. Republican Co-Chair of the Joint Finance Committee Howard Marklein commented on the Governor’s proposed budget, calling much of it a wish list. He says, “Just like last time, the legislature will write the state budget starting from the base budget. This means we will use the last budget’s appropriation amounts as the starting point for the next budget. From there, we will determine where we need to make additional investments, adjustments or create new programs.”

Last year, UW Madison changed the Farm and Industry Short Course into a non-credit and primarily online course after 136 years of on-site credited instruction, which caught several potential students and ag organizations by surprise.

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