KEY MESSAGE: The University System and Extension can best serve Wisconsin agriculture by prioritizing its state research specialists as part of the System’s restructuring due to budget cuts. Program changes and reorganization must also be made to reflect Wisconsin’s modern production system.
- Corn growers strongly believe that state research specialists need to be prioritized over Extension agents within the existing or proposed county or regional structures. Specifically, the retention and filling of vacant research specialist positions, like the Cropping Systems Weed Specialist, which has been vacant for some time, is key to important to providing valuable information, helping growers increase corn yields and the value of crops and livestock to Wisconsin’s economy.
- Over the year, corn growers have relied more on seed and crop management consultants for information on productivity, nutrient and weed management and soil health. Because of those changes, we believe it is clear that the county Extension agent model needs to also change with a greater emphasis on state research specialists.
- Corn growers do not support the plan to make additional cuts that would generate dollars to be set aside for future budgets or emerging issues.
- The UW System has the opportunity to reexamine the structure and methods it provides services, research and information to farmers. We encourage you to use this reorganization process to prioritize its applied research and outreach to reflect Wisconsin’s modern agricultural industry.