Finance committee includes Dairy Innovation Hub in state budget

On June 11, the Joint Finance Committee passed a motion including funding for the Dairy Innovation Hub (item #16). The motion provides $1,000,000 GPR in 2019-20 and $7,800,000 GPR in 2020-21 under the Joint Committee on Finance’s supplemental appropriation.

Dean Kate VandenBosch joined Dean Dale Gallenberg, UW-River Falls College of Agriculture Food and Environmental Studies, and Dean Wayne Weber, UW-Platteville College of Business, Industry, Life Sciences and Agriculture, in issuing the following statement:

“As leaders of UW System agricultural programs, we would like to thank members of the Joint Finance Committee for including funding for the Dairy Innovation Hub in the state budget bill. It is especially appropriate as the state celebrates June Dairy Month.

This investment in UW System agricultural research will generate vital new discoveries by attracting the world’s best talent to Wisconsin and providing the tools and resources for making important new discoveries to benefit the dairy industry.

The concept was formed by industry partners following the UW System-sponsored Dairy Summit in 2017 and further refined through the work of the state’s Dairy Taskforce 2.0. We appreciate the leadership of Senator Howard Marklein and Representative Travis Tranel who introduced legislation creating the Hub earlier this year. The funding, which is less than 0.02 percent of the state’s dairy economy, will position Wisconsin as a leader in dairy production and innovation for decades to come.

We are also grateful for our ongoing partnerships with farmers and other dairy businesses who collaborate with our students, faculty and staff every day to shape research questions and provide real-world laboratories to test new technologies and learn new techniques. We look forward to growing these partnerships.”