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Group recommends 88 steps to keep agriculture strong in Wisconsin

A task force on the future of Wisconsin farming has recommended 88 steps to keep agriculture going strong.

One proposal would create a statewide, appointed school board to serve as an advocate for K-12 education.

The panel also wants changes in the state school funding formula, to help rural schools burdened by smaller enrollments and higher busing costs.

They also suggest a documented worker program. It would help the growing number of Mexican farm workers adjust to our overall culture.

The project group is called the Future of Farming and Rural Life in Wisconsin. Co-chairs Stan Gruszynski and Tom Lyon spent two years leading the group in a host of studies.

Gruszynski said the goal was to create an accurate reflection of people's hopes for the future of Wisconsin's rural traditions and resources.

Farmland preservation is part of those ideas, along with more distinctive marketing of the state's food products. They suggest a brand called Wisconsin Grown.

The 88 ideas will be discussed at a conference in Madison in mid-May. It's uncertain where they'll go from there.