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We Have the Beef!
July marks another major economic driver for our
communities as we celebrate Beef Month in Wisconsin!
In celebration of Beef Month, I was honored to join the Iowa
County Cattlemen’s Association for their annual steak feed
earlier this month. In talking with many of the dedicated beef
producers in our community, I was inspired to learn that while
our state is usually known for our dairy cows, Wisconsin has
nearly as many beef cattle.
I was also proud to learn that six of the top 10 counties for
beef in Wisconsin are in the 17th Senate District! According to
the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Grant, Iowa,
Lafayette Vernon and Monroe counties hold the top five rankings
for beef cows in our state; Sauk county is number seven! We have
a lot to be proud of in the 17th Senate District!
According to the Wisconsin Beef Council, there are more than 1
billion cattle in the world. The United States has less than 10%
of the world’s population, but we produce nearly one quarter of
the world’s beef supply. Wisconsin holds a huge share of this
industry with nearly 15,000 beef producers who raise 3.35
million cattle every year that produce 2.287 billion pounds of
Wisconsin is 12th in the nation for beef production, but our
growth is out-pacing other states. In the past 10 years, we are
only one of 10 states that have increased our beef cow heard and
we’re only second to Oklahoma!
The beef industry has a major impact on our state’s economy.
More than $200 million in state and local government revenues
come from the beef industry. Nearly 35,000 people are employed
in beef industry jobs with an overall economic impact of $8.1
billion in Wisconsin.
Production of beef cattle supports 14,000 jobs. We generate $631
million in total income and $1.86 billion in industrial revenue.
Beef processing creates 20,900 jobs and $1.47 billion in total
income with $4.9 billion in industrial revenues.
Beef may be big business, but most herds in Wisconsin are small.
According to the USDA, 70% of beef operations in Wisconsin have
fewer than 20 head of beef cows. Approximately 46% have less
than nine head. At the time of the last major cow census in
2007, only eight producers had operations of 500 head or more.
Where are these small herds? According to the Wisconsin Beef
Council, many dairy farmers raise their steers for beef
production alongside their dairy cows and then sell them when
they reach marketable size. In addition, some dairy operations
have shifted entirely to beef operations as the demand for
products or their property for grazing have changed.
In the Driftless region – most of the 17th Senate District –
grazing beef cattle is a profitable and effective use for land
that is difficult to plant with crops. Lush, fertile river
valleys surrounded by steep hillsides are perfect for hearty
According to the Kickapoo Grazing Initiative, a collaboration
among Trout Unlimited, Valley Stewardship Network, Vernon County
Land & Water Conservation and UW-Extension: Crawford County,
managed grazing of grass-fed beef is a positive, sustainable
farming practice that is proving to be a good choice for many
farmers in the Driftless region. Beef cattle grazing helps build
soil organic matter and fertility and protects it from erosion
which preserves its long-term viability. Grazing uses less
pesticide and reduces fertilizer costs when compared to raising
crops on the same property, which also introduces fewer
pollutants into water resources.
Combine the environmental benefits of grazing beef cattle with
the demand for beef products and it’s no wonder local farmers
are dedicating more of their time, effort and property to beef
As you drive through the 17th Senate District this month, enjoy
our beautiful scenery and check out all of the beef cattle that
are contributing to our economy. Thank you to all of the
dedicated farmers who put food on our tables, support our
communities and give us the beef!
For more information and to connect with me, visit my website
http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/17/marklein and do not
hesitate to call 800-978-8008 if you have input, ideas or need
assistance with any state-related matters.
Why I Voted For a New Arena for the Milwaukee Bucks:
Bipartisan Support Key Factor in Proposal Moving Forward
This week, I voted in favor of $55 million in state funding for
construction of a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks in the City
of Milwaukee. Bipartisan support was key to my final decision
and this deal is a financial win for the state of Wisconsin.
After careful study of the proposed deal, constituent input and
bipartisan support from my colleagues in the Senate, I decided
to support the investment in the arena because it makes sense
financially for the city, county and state. The income taxes
paid by players more than cover our state’s investment in the
project, even without projected increases that could add to our
overall revenue into the future.
The proposed plan commits the state of Wisconsin to pay $55
million, which represents 11% of the total project cost.
According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB), the state of
Wisconsin currently collects an average of approximately $6.5
million per year in income taxes from professional basketball
players who play in Milwaukee.
Additionally, the current proposal includes a $2 ticket
surcharge. The states portion of the ticket surcharge will
result in an additional $500,000 of revenue per year to the
In addition, the proposed plan allows the state to avoid future
responsibility for the Bradley Center property and contains
protective financial provisions if the Bucks decide to leave the
state in the future.
I think it is important to get our state out of the arena
business, keep the Bucks in Wisconsin and take advantage of
economic development opportunities that will surround the arena.
Without our investment and commitment to this project, we lose
the team, risk financial liabilities for the Bradley Center
building and miss opportunities to grow jobs in Milwaukee. If
the Bucks leave, there will be a cost to all Wisconsin taxpayers
that could impact future support for schools, the university
system and other state programs.
Critics of the plan have said that the state should not invest
in the arena when other state institutions have received less
funding in the recent biennial budget. However, the funding to
pay for the arena project comes directly from the income taxes
paid on salaries generated by use of the arena. Without the
arena, these dollars are not part of our state’s revenue, so we
aren’t making this investment in lieu of another.
In the District
Durst Family Tractor Show
Last weekend, I was invited to attend the Durst Family Tractor
Show on the David Durst Farm in Ithaca Township. It was a great
time on the farm and quite an impressive collection of Allis
Chalmers tractors and equipment! There are over 200 Allis
Chalmers tractors owned by the Durst family. Jerry Durst is 96
years old and I enjoyed chatting with him and hearing his
excitement when he talked about his family and the wide
collection of tractors and the work that they have done. Thanks
for having me, Durst Family!
Senator Marklein and Jerry Durst & Sons, John,
Joe, Lawrence, Jerome, David, Pete & Daughter Margaret
Sauk County Fair
In addition to Dairy Breakfasts, County Fairs are one of the
best parts of a Wisconsin summer. I was able to serve food at
the Sauk County Farm Bureau food stand at the Sauk County Fair
last weekend. It was great to serve up some tasty food and
connect with fair goers.
This weekend, I will be stopping at the Lafayette County Fair,
and attending the meat auction at the fair on Saturday. I hope
to see you there and look forward to all the upcoming County
Fairs in the district!
Senator Marklein in the Sauk County Farm
Bureau food stand at the Sauk County Fair
General Aid Estimates for School Districts
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently released its
estimated general aid estimates for each of the school districts
for the 2015-16 school year. When allocating resources to
individual school districts, there are two major factors that
impact the amount of aid a school district receives from the
state. School district enrollment and equalized property value
play the largest roles in determining the general aid payment.
The chart below illustrates the amount of estimated general aid
that school districts in the 17th senate district will receive
in the 2015-16 school year as compared to the 2014-15 school
year. State statute requires DPI to release an estimate of
school aid by July 1 for school districts to complete their
annual budgets and the payment amounts will be certified in
October. Estimated general aid to districts may change.
Department of Public Instruction July 1 '15-16 General Aid
*Source: Department of Public Instruction
*Senator Marklein is pleased to provide this
legislative E-Update to the constituents of the 17th State
Senate District. Please feel free to share this update with
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