Wisconsin facing agriculture agent shortage - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin facing agriculture agent shortage

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Steep budget cuts have reduced the number of county agriculture agents in a key area of Wisconsin at a time when their knowledge and advice are in high demand.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the UW-Extension is currently operating with 15 fewer ag agents than last year.

Republic Rep. Todd Novak, of Dodgeville, says Grant, Green and Lafayette counties don't have a full-time agent despite paying the required fees for them. He says officials are in the process of hiring an agent for Grant and five other counties.

Karl Martin is the dean and director of the Extension's cooperative division. He says the reduction in agents is a result of $3.6 million in budget cuts two years ago.

Agents give farmers advice and connect them to research at the university.

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