Gov. Doyle: Announces Wisconsin

    Contacts: Lora Klenke, Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection, 608-224-5119
         Anne Lupardus, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

Governor Jim Doyle announced today that state agricultural exports totaled $1.3 billion in 2005, representing a 16 percent increase from the previous year.

“We’re working hard to find new markets for that ‘Made in Wisconsin’ label,” Governor Doyle said.  “Wisconsin’s agriculture exports are showing strong growth, along with manufacturing exports and others.  Our export growth is outpacing that of the nation as a whole, and I am committed to building on our success and continuing to help our agricultural businesses find new markets for their products.”

Agriculture is the state’s fourth largest export category at $1.3 billion, not including farm machinery.  Wisconsin ranks 11th among all 50 states for 2005 agricultural export value, moving up from 18th in 2004. 

“Export revenues account for 20 percent of farm income,” Governor Doyle said.  “Agricultural exports help boost farm prices and income while helping support 420,000 jobs both on and off the farm in food production, processing, and transportation.”

In 2004 the state’s agricultural exports registered a slight decline of less than one percent over the previous year, which reflected a hit on beef and cattle exports following a diagnosis of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, or “Mad Cow Disease”) in a cow in the state of Washington in December 2003.  International borders have been slow to re-open to U.S. beef and cattle.

“These numbers are particularly noteworthy given the dislocation with markets closed to our livestock for a long period of time,” Agriculture Secretary Rod Nilsestuen said.  “Even when we hit a bump, our diverse agriculture enables us to rebound.”

Leading agricultural commodities exported in 2005:

    • Cereals, $250 million

    • Baking related products, $118 million

    • Hides and Skins, $104 million

    • Beverages, $104 million

    • Miscellaneous Food, $92 million

    • Miscellaneous Grains $89 million

Top destinations for Wisconsin agricultural products in 2005 included:

    • Canada, $471 million

    • Mexico, $90 million

    • China, $68 million

    • Italy, $67 million

    • Japan, $46 million

Since taking office. Governor Doyle and Agriculture Secretary Rod Nilsestuen have led several trade missions to help Wisconsin companies develop new markets in China, Japan, Mexico, and the European Union.