WED AM News: Trade experts support R&D investments, deals to bolster ag industry

— Endless Frontier Act investments could help U.S. beat China in tech, and existing tariffs could give U.S. negotiating power in China trade deals.

That’s according to panelists who were part of yesterday’s virtual Technology Council luncheon on “Dealing with China.”

The bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by GOP U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, calls for $100 billion to build resources in advancing science and technology research and development nationwide. It also proposes expansion of the National Science Foundation and $10 billion for regional technology hubs. Those hubs would help to launch companies, revive U.S. manufacturing and create jobs that jump-start communities.

“The goal of the Endless Frontier Act is really to win the technological competition both when it comes to environmental technology, whether it’s carbon capture, whether it’s nuclear bioreactor technology or chips manufacturing,” he said. “In order to win the new Cold War, I believe we need to increase our investments in research and development from the federal level.”

The resource would be distributed across the country, including the Midwest and UW-Madison.

Steve Ackerman, the vice chancellor for research and graduate education at UW-Madison, said he’s looking forward to the infusion of resources to push science and research forward.

“I think it’s a great act in terms of what it’s attempting to do by instead of running away from China … actually funding the research,” he said. “Looking at China and other countries as adversaries and the way we’re going to beat them is to compete against them.”

Read the full story at 

— Midwestern dairy groups are calling for changes in milk pricing to promote long-term stability in the market. 

In a virtual press conference, members of the Dairy Business Association, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, Minnesota Milk and the Nebraska State Dairy Association said the proposal would, among other things, link fluid skim milk prices to cheese skim milk prices. It would also add an adjuster meant to end advanced pricing, which the organizations argued was the main cause of last year’s negative price differentials. 

“It makes producers more effective,” said DBA President Amy Penterman. 

Cooperatives within the National Milk Producers Federation have called for an emergency USDA hearing to address milk prices with a similar proposal. But Penterman said the federation’s suggestions only “attempts to claw back lost revenue in the short term” and does nothing to address ag’s underlying issues. 

A NMPF spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But the organization in a press release previously said its proposal, which raises fluid skim milk prices but doesn’t outright link it with cheese prices, would “better account for disorderly market conditions” than the current setup. 

“Our group felt it’s imperative that if we’re going to have a hearing, we should make lasting and beneficial changes that will leave us with a better system overall,” said Kris Bousquet, NSDA executive director, on the differences between both proposals. 

See the release:  

See NMPF’s previous statement: 

— Wisconsin restaurants can apply for new federal pandemic aid on Monday. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration will begin registrations on Friday at 8 a.m. for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Applications open Monday at 11 a.m. The online application will stay open until the money’s gone.

The fund was established under the federal stimulus package signed into law by President Biden on March 11. The fund will give $28.6 billion in to restaurants and other hard-hit food establishments. 

The program gives restaurants dollars equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location.

Learn more: 

— The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is hosting a mayoral panel tomorrow morning. 

It will feature Dane County’s mayors — Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Middleton Mayor Gurdip Brar, Monona Mayor Mary O’Connor, Stoughton Mayor Tim Swadley, Sun Prairie Mayor Paul Esser and Verona Mayor Luke Diaz. They will address the biggest business challenges from the pandemic and economic opportunities as the area accelerates toward recovery.


— DATCP’s International Agribusiness Center encourages food export stakeholders to attend the Food Export Association’s webinar today.

Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast are nonprofit organizations assisting U.S. companies looking to start or expand export sales. The two groups are hosting “Expert Analysis: Understanding Import Requirements in Australia & New Zealand” tonight at 5 p.m.

James Azzapardi and Joel Allen of Cyclone Global Logistics will discuss the ins and outs of shipping agricultural products to Australia. 


— Madison and Dane County have begun this year’s MadiSUN Solar Energy Programs aiming to expand access to local renewable energy.

The programs include initiatives and grants that assist residents, businesses and nonprofits with onsite solar electric installations.

The MadiSUN Solar Group Buy expanded to include all of Dane County homeowners looking to install solar on their rooftops. It has spurred nearly $2.4 million in clean energy investments since 2016, adding over 800 kilowatts of renewable electricity to the community’s electric grid. To date, nearly 200 local homes have gone solar through MadiSUN.

The program is also expanding the number of solar contractors, partnering with Full Spectrum Solar, Midwest Solar Power and Arch Electric. MadiSUN Director Sam Dunaiski said this contractor expansion will give both rural and urban residents more service options to fit varying needs. 

Low-interest loans for solar arrays will be available through greenpenny bank and Clean Energy Credit Union.

— The Solar for Business program, in its fourth year, provides project grants and consulting services for Madison businesses interested in installing solar electric systems. 

The program has facilitated solar on 16 Madison businesses totaling more than 750 kilowatts of renewable energy. 

And the Backyard Solar program offers up to $10,000 in grants for affordable housing providers and nonprofits seeking to install solar electric systems at their facilities in Madison. The program approved seven grants during its first two years of operation. These seven projects will result in nearly 550 kilowatts of solar energy, enough to power roughly 100 households.

Applications for the Group Buy program are due Aug. 31; Backyard Solar Grant by Sept. 1; and Solar for Business by Dec. 31: 

— For more developments in green energy, environmental issues and related policy proposals, visit WisBiz Green in the right-hand column at

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# Tony Evers to announce plans for spending $3.2 billion in federal stimulus funds ‘in the near future’

# Milwaukee Advances $12M Deal For Milwaukee Tool

# Fans attending Milwaukee Bucks game at Fiserv Forum May 2 can receive a Covid-19 shot



– UW-Madison engineering professor who led ‘toxic’ lab will resign this summer

– West High School principal apologizes for email scheduling racially segregated meetings

– Madison School Board approves $840K for virtual Madison Promise Academy this fall


– Milwaukee County Banning Single-Use Plastic In Its Facilities

– Report: Wisconsin Air Quality Is Improving, But Some Counties Along Lake Michigan Get Failing Grades

– Wisconsin AG Josh Kaul reaches $242K settlement on manure spills


– Fact Check: Yes, Foxconn is the largest taxpayer in Racine County


– Prevea St. Mary’s Health Center to open May 10 at Shawano Avenue location in Green Bay

– Wisconsin’s multigenerational homes face higher COVID-19 risk


– Lawsuit alleges cheese fraud in Bagel Bites Pizza Snacks

– DOJ aims to stop clergy abuse as state lawmakers rebuff prevention measures advocates say are needed


– Black women are still underrepresented in America’s statehouses, a new report shows. But Wisconsin is now an exception.

– Evers calls special election to fill vacant Assembly seat


– In wake of Wisconsin’s racial justice protests, curfew tickets raise equity and speech questions


– Duluth Trading names former Finish Line exec as new CEO


– Dane County Executive Joe Parisi pushes committee to act on $15M in small business grants


– Unsung heroes: Brewers’ depth paying dividends with stars sidelined


– Whitewater startup launches evacuation system geared for mass shootings

– Powerful new supercomputer will open doors for research and education at UW-Eau Claire


– Sun Country Airlines will introduce non-stop flights from Green Bay to Florida, Arizona

– ‘Re-see the world’: The 2021 Milwaukee Film Festival gets ready to be a spring thing


– Madison drivers could see more patrol cars, speeding tickets on the Beltline


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

– UW-Madison: College of Engineering Students Design Prosthetic

– Road America: Announces Parade And Concours Events To Return To Elkhart Lake For The 2021 WeatherTech International Challenge

– GRB: Welcomes New Air Service from Sun Country Airlines

– Fairbanks Morse: Now Fairbanks Morse Defense

– WHEDA: Awards $35 million in federal and state housing tax credits for 2021