June is Dairy Month in Wisconsin. Each year during this time, people from the countryside to our cities celebrate all things dairy.
My favorite traditions during June are the dairy breakfasts hosted on working farms. At dairy breakfasts, we get more than just a delicious meal, we learn what it takes to run a dairy farm.
I am blessed to be the son of dairy farmers. The farm taught me the values of hard work, honesty and dependability. It shaped my outlook on life. It gave me a deep appreciation for the importance of community and working together.
As secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, I traveled this state and met a lot of farmers and rural residents. I felt their pride, listened to their dreams and shared in their concerns.
I am worried about the future, too. And I came to this conclusion.
These tough times we are living in demand action and they demand cooperation.
More divisive politics won’t help us. We have had our fill of them. They are ripping our state and our communities apart. We must stop them.
We need to listen to each other more and talk less. We need to fix our roads. We have to support the family farmers who are the backbone of our state and region.
We’ve got to invest in our children and grandchildren. We must keep people safe, healthy, educated and connected in our communities.
I’ll work with anyone, pull together with anyone and listen to anyone who wants to solve the problems facing each and every one of us in Wisconsin. And I will stand up to anyone, no matter their political party, who is working to divide us even more.
President Lincoln said “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” It’s as true today as it was then. The politics of the past 10 years have turned Wisconsin into a house divided against itself. The people of Wisconsin deserve better.
Our license plates read “America’s Dairyland.” That motto is about more than producing nutritious milk and delicious cheese. It’s about where we come from and the values we learned.
We know the difference between right and wrong. We value an honest day’s work. We have pride in our community and respect for our neighbors. We don’t tear each other down, we build each other up.
I hope you’ll join me in celebrating our dairy farmers. Let’s take a page out of their book. Let’s put differences aside, mend fences, roll up our sleeves and get back to work doing what is right for our communities and our neighbors.
The people running the Legislature have lost their way. It’s up to us to show them the way back to the path that moves Wisconsin forward.