MON AM News: UK-US trade could benefit state ag industry; Kind releases five principles to boost state dairy

— Post-Brexit, the U.K. is writing its own trade agreements that could benefit Wisconsin agriculture.

The pandemic’s disruption of the U.K. supply chain has led the United Kingdom to seek out more trade opportunities with the U.S., two British Consulate representatives explained in a recent Madison International Trade Association event. 

Brexit is the name given to the U.K.’s departure from the EU in January 2020. The two entities signed a trade and cooperation agreement on Dec. 24.

In 2019, the Badger State exported $1.3 billion worth of goods to the U.K., said Melissa Wooten, the senior trade policy advisor at the British Consulate. Those exports supported 7,000 jobs in the state and made the U.K. the fourth largest export market in Wisconsin.  

“The U.K.’s departure from the European Union has given it more flexibility to diverge from the EU practices,” Wooten said.

Read the full story at 

<i>Visit the trade policy page to help you track events, news and developments that affect trade and the economy in Wisconsin and the Midwest.

See it here: <i/>

— U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse has unveiled what he’s calling a Family Farm Action Plan. 

The plan contains five key principles aimed at securing the future of Wisconsin dairy:

*preserve family dairy farming;

*expand exports and enforce trade agreements;

*ensure rural broadband access;

*protect organic standards; and  

*support land and water conservation programs.

“This has been a difficult year for our hardworking farmers, and they have demonstrated a resilience that’s inspiring to all,” Kind said. “Especially as we build back from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical that we take steps to secure the future of Wisconsin dairy by putting in place policies that give our dairy farmers the tools they need to thrive.”

— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, is calling for investments in the domestic supply chain after touring Lodi-based Attwill Medical Solutions. 

Attwill is one of the state’s largest manufacturers of chemicals for COVID-19 and other PCR kits. The company also has freeze-drying technology that can be used to make vaccines available in pill form as well as in a shot.

“If this public health crisis has taught us anything, it is that we need local businesses like Attwill Medical Solutions to boost our domestic supply chain, and to produce the medical supplies and equipment we need to keep our communities safe and our economy moving,”  Baldwin said following a tour of the facility last week.

Earlier this year, Baldwin teamed up with Indiana Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Braun to introduce the Made in America Act to strengthen Buy America requirements for the federal government. The bill would make it harder for federal agencies to use waivers to get around Buy American requirements. It aims to boost U.S. businesses, notably manufacturers, and workers.

Last month, the bill passed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and can now be considered by the full Senate.  

— More than one in three companies have accelerated going digital during the pandemic as the global talent shortage reaches a 15-year high, according to ManpowerGroup.

In a recent study, the Milwaukee-based staffing firm found seven in 10 employers globally struggled to find skilled workers in high-demand areas including logistics, manufacturing, IT and sales. The ManpowerGroup study polled 42,000 employers in 43 countries.

“Despite the impact of the pandemic on global unemployment we are already seeing signs of a much tighter labor market in many countries,” ManpowerGroup CEO Jonas Prising said.

Nearly 86 percent of companies polled plan to increase or maintain their hiring with the intention of shifting to a virtual office space. This hiring strategy will increase polarization between the workers with tech training and those without, according to the study.

“Companies have increasingly specific skills needed as transformation accelerates making the need to find new ways to close the inequality gaps that exist at the intersection of race, gender, education and economic status even more urgent,” Prising said.

ManpowerGroup will release the full report tomorrow.

— The Wisconsin Venture Capital Association is calling for state legislators to keep the proposed $100-l million venture fund of funds in the 2021-23 budget.

The proposed $100 million would expand the Badger Fund of Funds, a capital venture fund collective dedicated to investing in Wisconsin startups. The funds provide seed money for new businesses other companies would consider too risky to invest in.

“While Wisconsin is building what is amounting to be a vibrant startup ecosystem, it still lags other Midwest states, including Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, in providing the necessary capital that young companies with high-growth potential need,” the WVCA said in a written statement.

Evers’ proposal includes a requirement that a minimum of 20 percent of the funds be invested in minority-owned or women-owned companies or companies located in underserved areas.

— A UW-Madison spinoff that has developed a device to better monitor the heart during surgery took home the grand prize of the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.

Atrility Medical, which was launched by a pediatric heart surgeon who noticed recurring issues in some operations, won with its plan for bringing AtriAmp to market.

The device eases efficient monitoring and treatment of atrial arrhythmia, which is a rhythm disruption difficult to pick up with current equipment. Undetected, the condition can cause complications, extra costs and even death.

Dr. Nick Von Bergen presented for the company, which includes a larger team of scientists and managers. AtriAmp has been cleared for use by the FDA. Like 11 other “Diligent Dozen” finalists, Von Bergen presented Wednesday to judges and others during a prelude to the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference.

See a recent article on the company:  

<i>For more of the most relevant news on the coronavirus outbreak, reports on groundbreaking health research in Wisconsin and links to top stories, sign up today for the free daily Health Care Report from and

Sign up here: </i>

— The 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games will return to Madison for its 15th year of competition.

From July 27-Aug. 1, the in-person games will be held in the Alliant Energy Center. More than 600 athletes across 27 divisions are expected to compete.

In the games, athletes are tested for endurance, strength, bodyweight capacity and power. The top individual man and woman of the competition will each win $310,000.

— Shorewood-based MalamaDoe is hosting a book launch for its founder Sheila Long at its new event space on June 16. 

MalamaDoe is a coworking community for women. Long’s new book is titled “Surrounded by Awesome Women.” It celebrates women who successfully navigate professional barriers and surpass milestones by starting and growing businesses. In the book is Long’s roadmap for startups after five years of research working with women entrepreneurs. 

The in-person and virtual hybrid event is June 16 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. 


# Rural Employers Urged To Give Incentives For COVID-19 Vaccinations

# 4 lessons Wisconsin’s proposed $100 million VC fund can take from other states

# Canadian manufacturer to create 120 jobs in Kenosha County after nationwide site search



– Wisconsin pork producers are watching recovery efforts and JBS security breach closely 

– WI Ag Tourism Is Open 


– Cost Of Living: How A Lack Of Affordable Housing Is Crimping Lives, The Economy 


– Vivent Health eyes move to downtown Milwaukee site near Fiserv Forum for HIV Medical Home 


– Wisconsin employers report modest health plan increases this year 


– Milky Way Tech Hub: Seeking support from local corporations 


– Milwaukee County Official Sues Over His Arrest At Police Brutality Protest 


– Briggs & Stratton ‘has no intentions’ of exiting metro Milwaukee, committed to HQ, community: CEO 


– Gov. Tony Evers Announces 2022 Re-Election Bid At State Democratic Convention 


– Here are the big King Drive BID initiatives that will keep its next executive director busy 


– Uneven recovery: 35% of small businesses might not survive the summer, survey finds 


– Slinger Speedway owner reaches finish line on purchase of racetrack 


– Epic Systems Wants All Workers Back In Office, At Least Part Time, By July 19 


– Summer months should continue recovery for Marcus Corp. 

– Milwaukee hotel occupancy climbs, local hotels report strong Memorial Day traffic 


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

– WHEDA: Names Steele tribal liaison; Searles tapped for community economic development post in NE Wisconsin

– SCEDC: Pop-up shops- start your business in Sheboygan

– Wisconsin Venture Capital Association: Supports the creation of $100M state fund of funds

– Blain’s Farm & Fleet: Welcomes back Janesville Town Square Gran Prix Cycling Race as local presenting sponsor