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As I See It

Wisconsin ag industry needs more stability, not less

Scott Robert Shaw



It is a challenging time for Wisconsin’s agriculture industry. Falling milk prices, the ongoing trade war, the loss of family farms and in increase in suicides have made life difficult for farmers. The last thing they need now is more instability. That is why it is disheartening that Wisconsin lawmakers are apparently unwilling to confirm Vov. Tony Evers’ selection for Wisconsin Agriculture Secretary. Brad Pfaff of La Crosse has been a tireless advocate for Wisconsin farmers. He was selected by Evers to oversee the state’s agriculture industry shortly after Evers won election. Pfaff has been serving in that role, but because of quirks in the Wisconsin constitution, Pfaff has yet to be confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate, and now Senate leaders say the votes aren’t there to confirm Pfaff. Apparently they weren’t pleased when Pfaff pleaded passionately for lawmakers to release money for mental health funding for farmers. They want Governor Evers to fire him. That is the last thing Wisconsin’s ag industry needs today. Our farmers need more stability, not less. And while they’re at it, the system for confirming gubernatorial nominees needs to be re-examined. Under current law, an appointee could theoretically serve an entire four-year term without ever being formally confirmed for the job. As we’re seeing with Brad Pfaff, that delay in approving nominations can lead to unnecessary uncertainty.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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