Earlier this week Sen. Howard Marklien and Rep. Travis Tranel announced that they will be bringing forward a bill to add the Dairy Innovation Hub to the proposed state Budget. Numerous agricultural and dairy organizations have been in favor of this new opportunity to help improve and grow the dairy industry. One of these organizations is the Dairy Business Association (DBA), I was able to talk to John Holevolt, Director of Government Affair for the DBA, about the Dairy Innovation Hub and what funding it would do for agriculture.
“This is a funding bill for the Dairy Innovation Hub. This is a concept we have been working on for a number of months now. It really would fund next level research. The next generation of dairy research at three different campuses of the UW-System, so Madison, Platteville, and River Falls. We just think it makes a whole lot of sense. We all understand the situation that we find ourselves in from a dairy economy standpoint. Now’s the time to really show so reinvestment. And show that we’re not, not only we are not giving up on dairy, we’re doubling down.”
Holevolt also noted that the funding for the hub could entirely be paid for by the impact the dairy industry has on the state economy.
“The overall funding for this annually is .02% of the amount of the economic impact the dairy industry has on our state. So a drop in the bucket. I think what we are going to see is that, we’re going to invest 7.9 million, but we are going to get grants from the federal government, from third parties that will help offset that. We’re gonna see spinoff businesses come out of this that are going to generate new tax revenue. So we can talk about how we’re spending $7 or $8 million dollars a year, but the reality is that money’s going to come back. It’s going to pay dividends.”
If you want more information about the Diary Innovation Hub you can look on the department of ag and consumer protection website, datcp.wi.gov.