Madison, Wis. — COVID-19 is affecting everyone, including Wisconsin’s farmers. The Institute for Reforming Government (IRG) issued its seventh policy paper today, this one highlighting the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on Wisconsin agriculture and the resources farmers have available during a crisis. Previous bipartisan action and other reforms in Wisconsin pave a path toward a better outcome, but more must be done to help farm families navigate the economic challenges ahead and help protect America’s food supply.

“We cannot forget our farmers during this crisis,” said Rob McDonald, Chairman of the Board for the Institute for Reforming Government. “Ensuring a stable food supply and positive economic outlook is crucial. Thanks to Governor Walker, a reform-minded legislature and bipartisan efforts to provide resources to our farmers during a crisis, we can help support an industry that means so much to this state. We implore Wisconsin’s leadership and other states to take further measures to protect farmers and the food supply during the crisis now and to prepare for future crises.

Resources for Farmers Facing a Crisis: 

In response to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions, and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has also compiled a toolkit for consumers. This toolkit can be found here and compiles information on:

  • “Price Gouging, Scams, and False Marketing”
  • “Food Supply and Delivery”
  • “Employment”
  • “Animal Health”
  • “Crops and Agribusiness”

Governor Walker along with the legislature instituted reforms that provide resources to farmers:

  • The Manufacturing & Agriculture Tax Credit (MAC), which according to a report from Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy, was “[p]hased in from 2013-2016, the MAC now nearly eliminates the tax liability for manufacturing and agricultural business activity, which are crucial sectors in the Wisconsin economy. ”Property taxes that were lower in 2018 than they were in 2010, when Gov. Walker first took office.
  • Increased Sparsity Aid for rural schools, and a wide range of workforce development initiatives such as the Youth Apprenticeship Program to help prepare our students for the agriculture jobs of tomorrow.

Read IRG’s Policy Paper: COVID-19: How Do We Support The Agriculture Industry here.

IRG has also issued policy papers on Wisconsin’s fight against expanding Medicaid under Obamacareregulatory reform, a policy proposal for state-based tax reform, manufacturing policy, and workforce development, property tax policy, and the economic impact of Act 10. Each of these papers is based on successful policies not only in Wisconsin but across the country.

The Institute for Reforming Government is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that seeks to simplify government at every level by offering policy solutions to thought leaders in American government in the areas of tax reform, government inefficiency, and burdensome regulations.

Learn more about the Institute for Reforming Government here.

###