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Wisconsin approves Dairy Innovation Hub

Wisconsin will move forward with a Dairy Innovation Hub.  Governor Tony Evers signed the state’s budget Wednesday, which provides nearly eight million dollars a year for dairy research.

State Ag Secretary Brad Pfaff says the investment at the University of Wisconsin’s Madison, Platteville, and River Falls campuses will greatly benefit dairy and agriculture in general. He tells Brownfield, “They’re going to be doing continued research and development when it comes to making sure that not only do we have new product placement and product development, but also recognizing the importance of water and conservation in production agriculture.”

University of Wisconsin Economist Paul Mitchell says stepping up research is important as the state’s farmers compete in a global economy. “To me, this is a demonstration of commitment from the State Legislature and the Governor’s office that dairy is important, that it is part of the future of Wisconsin, so I’m excited for it and excited that the university can contribute to making that happen.”

Shelly Mayer with the Professional Dairy Producers tells Brownfield funding the Dairy Innovation Hub was critical to the future of the state and region. “It’s going to benefit our consumers. Dairy research is going to touch every single citizen that we have, for water, land, and animal to new product development and food safety.”

Mayer says the Dairy Innovation Hub concept has been in the planning stage for more than four years and was supported by legislators on both sides of the aisle and unanimously by the Dairy Task Force.

The funding will continue every year until the Legislature or Governor take action to change it.

John Holevoet with the Dairy Business Association says the University of Wisconsin System will next begin considering projects and staff additions. “They need to then come back to Joint Finance (Committee of the Legislature) with a proposal to actually allow for the dispersal of funds, so the next step really is the UW really putting pen to paper, coming forward with that proposal.”

Wisconsin Ag, Trade, and Consumer Protection Secretary Brad Pfaff

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