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Wisconsin lawmakers propose more farm succession help

Two Wisconsin lawmakers have introduced a bill that would provide Badger State farmers with more succession planning help. 

Democratic Representative Dave Considine and Republican Senator Patrick Testin say their bill would create two new positions in the University of Wisconsin system to help farmers transition their operations as they retire. 

One of the proposed additions would be within the UW Center for Dairy Profitability, where Director Mark Stephenson tells Brownfield, the bill follows through on an idea that’s been discussed a lot.  “This is one of the proposals, actually, that was in the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force recommendations, and frankly, it came up before Task Force even took that up but, they took it up and indicated that this was something that really needed to be done.”

The other position would be in the UW Extension to do research and training with county-based Extension agents.

Stephenson says farm succession planning requires a lot of one-on-one work with farmers. “This is just not the kind of thing that can be taught in a group setting. Every farm is different. Many time, you have to deal with the personal emotions of the people involved so it’s not just hard data or hard facts.”

Senator Testin’s staff says these new positions if approved by the Legislature and signed into law, would be in addition to similar resources offered through the ag department’s Farm Center.  Stephenson says the need is strong enough to keep both the University and the ag department busy.

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