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Partisan politics costs Wisconsin’s Ag Secretary his job

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Governor Evers is right. The Wisconsin ag industry is in crisis. And the firing of the state’s Agriculture Secretary is total BS. For the first time in decades, and perhaps ever, the Wisconsin state Senate has voted not to confirm a governor’s selection of a cabinet secretary. Brad Pfaff, a La Crosse County native, grew up on a dairy farm. He has worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency. In short, farming is in his blood. He understands the needs, and the plight, of Wisconsin farmers. And he has passionately worked on their behalf since he began the job in January. Perhaps too passionately for the taste of Republicans who control the Legislature. Pfaff drew the ire of legislative leaders earlier this year when he called on them to release funding for suicide prevention among farmers. Although the $100,000 in funding was approved in the budget, the money had not been released when Pfaff took them to task for not doing more to help struggling farmers. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald was irked by Pfaff’s comments, which he called beneath Pfaff’s position. Perhaps Pfaff was too blunt, but farmer’s lives are at stake and Pfaff was simply lobbying on their behalf. Of course, those who voted not to confirm don’t admit it was about being slighted. They blame Pfaff’s failure to win confirmation on some manure storage rules he was proposing. That is BS, which is perhaps appropriate, because this whole thing stinks to high Heaven.

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