Gov. Scott Walker spent more time on a farm July 27, in an ongoing effort to make sure the state is doing all it can to respond to the drought conditions and assist farmers with recovery. Chancellor of University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin-Extension Ray Cross and Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection Secretary Ben Brancel joined Walker to announce the Farmer-to-Farmer Network.
"A key concern for many farmers faced with losing their crops, is how they will feed their animals," Walker said. "The Farmer-to-Farmer Network is a way to bring everyone to the table, so the farmers who have the ability to provide feed, know what they need to do, and those who need help, know where to get it."
Under Farmer-to-Farmer, Walker is encouraging farmers in Wisconsin and the region that are less affected by the dry conditions to replant crops and make them available for feed by posting on the UW-Extension website http://farmertofarmer.uwex.edu/.
The Farmer-to-Farmer list is free of charge to both buyers and sellers. Users can list or search for hay, alfalfa haylage, corn silage, high moisture corn, corn grain, or other forages. All transactions and negotiations are handled directly between buyers and sellers.
To ensure the feed can be transported, Walker, in cooperation with DATCP, directed the WisDOT to issue free Agricultural Emergency Permits that allow the transport of heavier loads of hay bales along most state roadways.
"Agriculture adds $59 billion into our economic output every year, and accounts for 354,000 jobs," Walker said. "Recent rains in southern Wisconsin are not enough to repair the damage done by weeks of extreme hot and dry weather. For those who depend on farming for their livelihood, this recovery is far from over, and we will do everything we can to help."For comprehensive information and resources relating to the 2012 drought and heat wave, please visit www.ready.wi.gov.