MADISON – Last week during a radio interview, John Gard ridiculed the Farm Bill and dismissed the benefits it provides to Wisconsin farmers as "silly spending,” proving just how out of touch he is with the hardworking families of northeast Wisconsin.

During an interview on The Bill Sebastian Show on WHBY Radio on August 28, Gard made the comment, adding, "70 percent of the Farm Bill has got nothing to do with farming anymore."

"This is just another example of how woefully out of touch John Gard is with Wisconsin’s farmers and hardworking families," said Joe Wineke, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.  “The Farm Bill makes an investment in Wisconsin crops, promotes dairy through the MILC program, and provides financial help to Wisconsin farmers who are struggling. Obviously John Gard is more interested in growing his political career than growing Wisconsin."

In contrast, Congressman Steve Kagen is the only member of the Wisconsin Congressional delegation on the House Agriculture Committee and has fought tirelessly for provisions in the Farm Bill that help Wisconsin farmers, including:

·      Provisions for schools to include locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables for lunches.
·      A measure to increase the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program.
·      The New Markets for Interstate Meat program to help small meat producers.
·      Support for local agribusiness, agritourism and farmer’s markets.
·      A pilot program featuring grants to make farms more energy independent.

All of these provisions were included by Congressman Kagen to help Wisconsin families and our economy. John Gard calls these benefits “silly spending.”

The Farm Bill was called "strong bipartisan leadership" by a coalition of organizations including the Wisconsin Crop Production Association, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin Farmers Union and Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives.  Wisconsin Farmers Union President Sue Beitlich has also called the Farm Bill "good for Wisconsin's agriculture and economy."