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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 beef!

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 beef cattle.

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 cattle.

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 state.

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

Helpful Information


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 Estimate


School District 2015-16 General Aid 2014-15 General Aid Dollar Change Percent Change
Argyle 2,238,113 2,159,696 78,417 3.63
Belmont 2,147,525 2,215,018 (67,493) -3.05
Benton 2,008,238 2,018,006 (9,768) -0.48
Black Hawk 2,403,030 2,350,443 52,587 2.24
Boscobel 5,655,545 5,601,650 53,895 0.96
Cassville 920,260 867,304 52,956 6.11
Cuba City 4,077,605 3,751,591 326,014 8.69
Darlington 5,564,090 5,299,515 264,575 4.99
Dodgeville 6,815,000 6,438,050 376,950 5.86
Fennimore 5,465,142 5,323,255 141,887 2.67
Highland 2,259,644 2,313,142 (53,498) -2.31
Hillsboro 3,284,137 3,145,512 138,625 4.41
Iowa-Grant 5,726,173 5,559,432 166,741 3.00
Ithaca 2,368,623 2,596,490 (227,867) -8.78
Lancaster 5,962,022 5,829,799 132,223 2.27
Mauston 9,013,569 8,810,563 203,006 2.30
Mineral Point 4,516,131 4,847,542 (331,411) -6.84
Monroe 16,434,520 16,789,749 (355,229) -2.12
Necedah 2667,007 2,477,106 189,901 7.67
New Lisbon 3,032,305 3,158,621 (126,316) -4.00
Pecatonica 2,534,383 2,332,190 202,193 8.67
Platteville 7,423,654 7,717,516 (293,862) -3.81
Potosi 2,207,592 2,124,707 82,885 3.90
Reedsburg 14,587,175 14,248,646 338,529 2.38
Richland 8,203,706 7,888,264 315,442 4.00
River Ridge 3,515,774 3,129,588 386,186 12.34
River Valley 5,515,516 5,645,659 (130,143) -2.31
Riverdale 4,675,394 4,535,032 140,362 3.10
Royall 4,746,943 4,866,255 (119,312) -2.45
Shullsburg 2,738,715 2,561,561 177,154 6.92
Southwestern WI 3,405,109 3,358,491 46,618 1.39
Totals 152,112,640 149,960,393 2,152,247 1.44
Statewide 4,346,009,213 4,346,200,539 (191,326) -0.04

*Source: Department of Public Instruction



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State Capitol - Room 8 South - Post Office Box 7882 - Madison, Wisconsin 53707 - Phone: (608) 266-0703

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