The farms and forests of rural Wisconsin are a core part of our identity. The prosperity of rural Wisconsin is directly tied to the health of agriculture and working forests and the dollars they circulate in local economies. When farm families suffer, our rural communities also suffer.
Under Scott Walker’s eight years in office, prospects for rural Wisconsin have gone down by every measure. From 2009 to 2014 more than thirty of our rural counties lost population – the highest trend of population loss in decades. Wisconsin is now losing more than one dairy farm every day. In parts of Wisconsin, the rate of farm bankruptcies is the highest in the nation. Rural schools are on the brink of closing and suffering from woefully inadequate funding.
While we’re on a spending spree to build more highways for Foxconn, our rural roads are falling apart. And far too many communities still lack broadband internet, which limits economic development and education opportunities just as much as the lack of electricity did in rural areas one hundred years ago.
Tony Evers has seen first-hand the impacts of failure to invest in rural communities in every part of Wisconsin. And he knows how important it is to restore healthy, vibrant rural communities, not just in our cities but in every part of Wisconsin.