Working on a Wisconsin tree farm. Photo courtesy of DATCP.
Gov. Tony Evers made three appointments to the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) on Tuesday, moving the body away from the influence of former Gov. Scott Walker and asserting control under his own appointees.
Evers has now appointed six of the members of the nine-person board that holds policy-making authority for the state’s large agriculture industry.
“With a $104.8 billion economic impact in Wisconsin, we all know how important agriculture is to our state’s economic success,” Evers said in a statement. “I’m proud to appoint these knowledgeable leaders to the team that guides the important work DATCP does in every corner of our state, every day.”
Now in his third year as governor, Evers is solidifying his vision on boards across Wisconsin state government. Last week, Evers — who has made improving public education a central tenet of his administration — gained control of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. Up for re-election next year, these six-year appointments will far outlast even a potential second term.
On Tuesday, Evers reappointed two members of the DATCP board and appointed one new member. Rejoining the board are Doug Rebout, a Janesville-area farmer who was first appointed to the board last summer, and Paul Palmby, the CEO and president of the Seneca Foods Corporation. Palmby also sits on the board of directors of the powerful business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.
Evers also appointed Dr. Claire Hintz to her first term on the board. Hintz runs a solar-powered farm located on the south shore of Lake Superior.
The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Wisconsin Senate.
In 2019, Evers’ nominee to run the agency, Secretary-designee Brad Pfaff, was effectively fired by the Legislature in a failed confirmation vote after Pfaff criticized then-Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald’s failure to release $200,000 in funding for mental health services that had been allocated to support farmers.
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