WCA and Legislative Action
The Wisconsin Cattlemen's Association (WCA) is the voice of the Wisconsin Cattle Producer.
Through our legislative efforts in Madison, we continue to represent and protect the beef producer's best interests. We work closely with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association to stay informed of national issues that will affect Wisconsin beef producers. Our membership and Board of Directors work daily to keep beef demand strong in Wisconsin and the country.
Investing in the WCA
We are excited to share our legislative key wins that reinforce the impact the Wisconsin Cattlemen's Association has on the industry. Please use these materials during membership conversations, producer meetings, events, and more. For printed copies of these materials, reach out to the Wisconsin Cattlemen's office at [email protected].
Wisconsin Legislative Update
By Jordan Lamb, The Welch Group
DNR Releases Revised Wolf Plan – NRB Will Review it in October: The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released an updated 2023 Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan on August 1. The updated plan was revised in response to comments received after they released their first draft last November. The new plan does not contain a specific population goal, which was requested by farmers and hunting groups. Rather, it proposed a management strategy to address the population if it needs to be reduced. Under the proposal, if the statewide population falls under 799 wolves, then the plan directs officials to grow the population. If the population exceeds 1,200, then the population should be reduced. Accordingly, the plan promotes a “stable” population range of 1,000-1,199 wolves. It is expected that the Natural Resources Board will review and consider the updated plan at their October meeting.
Agricultural Road Improvement Program (ARIP) Legislation Signed June 21 and Funded as a part of the JFC Transportation Budget Package (SB 247 / AB 244): In January, the Wisconsin Ag Coalition began working with Representatives Travis Tranel and Nancy Vander Meer and Senators Howard Marklein, Joan Ballweg and Cory Tomczyk on historic legislation to create a grant program for municipalities with posted roads and bridges to apply for funding to upgrade them to non-posted construction standards. This legislation is known as the Agricultural Road Improvement Program (ARIP) legislation. In addition, the Legislature and the Governor included $150 million in one-time funding to the Department of Transportation for these grants as a part of the biennial budget bill. The legislation creating the grant program passed both houses of the legislature and was signed by the Governor on June 21, 2023. In July, the $150 million for the program was included as a part of the final 2023-25 biennial budget bill. This program is a critical infrastructure support program for Wisconsin farmers and food processors.
Committee Holds Hearing on Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC) Legislation (SB 370 / AB 372): The Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC) was created at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1886. In 2022, UW-Madison announced that it would end the 16-week, farm-oriented on-campus program and replace it with online learning. After months of discussion with University System officials and Wisconsin agricultural organizations, UW-River Falls announced that it would take over the FISC program and maintain it as an on-campus learning program beginning in October 2023. However, one-time funding is needed to assist River Falls with this transition. Unfortunately, the funding was not included in the 2023-25 biennial budget bill. Senator Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) and Representative Warren Petryk (R-Town of Washington), along with a large group of bipartisan legislators, have introduced legislation to provide $372,980 over the next two years to move FISC to UW-River Falls. The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on the legislation on July 27, 2023. This bill is widely supported by Wisconsin farm organizations.
Positions on the Issues
Learn more about the issues and where WCA stands in order to protect the best interests of the beef industry on state and national levels.
2021-23 Biennial Budget Summary
On July 8, 2021, Governor Evers signed the 2021-23 biennial budget bill. The bill provides for approximately $88 billion in spending for the State of Wisconsin over the next two fiscal years.
Have questions or comments about any of our Legislative Efforts?
Email Eric Johnson or call 608-516-4125. We would love to hear from you!