During the Wisconsin state budget deliberations, the Joint Finance Committee added a total of $8.8 million over the biennium for the University of Wisconsin Dairy Innovation Hub, which includes $1 million in the first year and $7.8 million in the second year, according to an announcement from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
This new funding for dairy research is included in the Joint Finance Committee supplemental appropriation. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers vetoed some items included in the Joint Finance Committee supplemental appropriation, but not the dairy innovation hub, the university said.
In his July 3 veto message, Evers said, “This investment will draw top dairy farming researchers to our state and ultimately help our dairy farmers grow their businesses.”
The Dairy Innovation Hub concept was developed by industry partners and University of Wisconsin campuses and recommended by the state’s Dairy Task Force 2.0. The proposal provides additional funding to university campuses with schools of agriculture: the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
The funding would be used to hire faculty, post-doctoral researchers and graduate students who focus their research on stewarding land and water resources, enriching human health and nutrition, ensuring animal health and welfare and growing farm business and communities, all with the goal of advancing dairy and agriculture in Wisconsin, the announcement said.
In order for funds to be released, the University of Wisconsin System must submit a proposal to the Joint Finance Committee for its consideration and approval. Faculty and deans from the three University of Wisconsin campuses are working together with system leaders to draft a proposal to be considered in the future.