Rural development and the state's dairy industry were on the table when Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle met U.S. agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack this week.
During their meeting in Washington, DC, Doyle and Vilsack discussed ways to create rural jobs through federal partnerships to boost Wisconsins rural energy programs, support dairy farmers and grow rural businesses, according to the governor.
The decline of dairy prices in recent months has severely impacted Wisconsin farmers. Doyle stressed the importance of the Milk Income Loss Contract program in providing direct assistance to dairy producers and urged secretary Vilsack and to explore other methods of providing swift and effective assistance to the dairy industry, he said.
"Wisconsin agriculture is the backbone of our economy and defines who we are in this state," Doyle said. "I committed to working with secretary Vilsack to support rural communities by growing jobs and investing in long-term growth and supporting innovative projects that represent the future of clean energy."
Doyle said federal support for rural clean energy projects will clean the state's air and water, create jobs and save money for communities, through funding from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Rural Energy for America Program.