Gov. Evers’ state budget includes proposals targeting CALS programs

Last week, Governor Tony Evers released his proposed budget, which includes increased funding for UW System and a number of other higher education provisions. Several elements are directly related to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (see list below).

This is the first step in the biennial state budget process. The legislature’s budget-writing body, the Joint Finance Committee, will now make changes to the budget bill. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) will take three weeks to develop an analysis of the governor’s budget proposal. Public hearings on the state budget and executive sessions are expected to begin in April.

Provisions related to CALS:

Funding for new Extension positions: $500,000 year 1, $1.5M year 2
“The Governor recommends providing funding to support agriculture positions, including county-based agriculture positions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension and agriculture research positions in the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. These positions will improve access to research and expertise for farmers, individuals and local governments.”

Extension teaching hours: no funding
“The Governor recommends requiring the Board of Regents to recognize time spent by state applied agriculture specialists providing extension services in the field as teaching hours.”

Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene Soil Health Faculty funding: $105,300 in year 1, $140,300 in year 2 and 1.0 FTE
“The Governor recommends providing position authority and funding for a faculty position for soil health at the State Laboratory of Hygiene, who will work to advance, sustain and protect the state’s soil resources and an agriculture sector that is highly dependent on these soil resources.”

Meat Talent Development Grant program: $1,306,700 year 1, $1,329700 year 2
“The Governor recommends providing funding and permanent position authority for a new grant program to support meat industry workforce development needs by providing tuition assistance to individuals pursuing meat processing programming at Wisconsin universities, colleges and technical schools.”

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