(Saint Croix County, WI) Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Ben Brancel was in Western Wisconsin on Friday with State Senator Sheila Harsdorf, touring local farms and the Saint Croix County Fair. The tours provided Brancel and Harsdorf the opportunity to hear from local farmers and citizens about issues that are important to them, their community and the farming industry.
“Fairs and farming provide valuable opportunities for learning career and life skills,” says Harsdorf. “Communities in Western Wisconsin are built on the values of family and working together. Nowhere is that more evident than at our local farms and county fairs.”
This is Brancel’s second term as DATCP Secretary. He was appointed by Governor Walker in January 2011. Brancel was previously appointed by Governor Tommy Thompson in 1997 to serve as Secretary of the DATCP and served until 2001. Among his accomplishments were founding Wisconsin’s Discovery Farms and Pioneer Farm projects and leading the effort to revitalize the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory by housing it in the University of Wisconsin System.
“It was great spending a day in Western Wisconsin and seeing some of the best of what Wisconsin agriculture offers,” said Brancel. “Ellsworth Creamery’s been a part of this community for generations and it’s still growing, giving local farmers a market and providing jobs in the Cheese Curd Capitol of Wisconsin. You can’t beat county fairs for meeting the folks that are affected every day by what we do in Madison, but, the best part is meeting the future of Wisconsin €“ those kids showing cattle and hogs that they’ve spent a year getting ready. They’re hope personified.”
Harsdorf and Brancel toured Ellsworth Creamery and Jon De Farm in Baldwin. Afterwards, they met with Saint Croix County Fair President Dick Sullwold and toured the Saint Croix County Fair.