2017 Senate Joint Resolution 82
Relating to: honoring the public service of Secretary Ben Brancel.
Whereas, after a long and successful career in public service, Ben Brancel, the secretary of agriculture, trade and consumer protection, retired on August 11, 2017; and
Whereas, after managing a dairy operation for 22 years, Ben now raises beef cattle on his family's 290-acre farm, which is owned by his son and daughter-in-law, Tod and Sondra, the sixth consecutive generation to farm the land; and
Whereas, Ben was born and raised in Marquette County, Wisconsin, and went on to receive a bachelor's degree in animal science from the University of Wisconsin–Platteville; and
Whereas, Ben was the first kid from Marquette County to show an animal at the state fair, and he continues his support of current and future kids involved in 4-H; and
Whereas, Ben was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1986 and proudly represented the 42nd Assembly District for ten years; and
Whereas, during his time in the Assembly, Ben helped craft the Right to Farm Law and held several leadership positions, including co-chair of the Joint Committee on Finance and Assembly Speaker; and
Whereas, in 1997, Governor Tommy G. Thompson appointed Ben to serve as the secretary of agriculture, trade and consumer protection; and
Whereas, during his first tenure as secretary, Ben founded the Wisconsin Discovery Farms and Pioneer Farm projects and led the effort to revitalize the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, which is now housed in the University of Wisconsin System; and
Whereas, in 2001, Ben was appointed the Wisconsin state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Services Agency; and
Whereas, in 2009, Ben became the state relations liaison for UW–Madison's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, a role in which he worked to support the Wisconsin Agricultural Research Stations; and
Whereas, in 2011 and 2015, Ben was again appointed secretary of agriculture, trade and consumer protection by Governor Scott Walker; and
Whereas, throughout his career, Ben has lead several agricultural organizations and has received many awards, including the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Wisconsin–Platteville, the Guardian of Small Business award from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, an honorary American FFA degree from the National FFA Organization, and the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau; and
Whereas, through his hard work and dedication, Ben has earned the trust and respect of farmers and others in the agricultural community across the state; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the members of the Wisconsin Legislature join in honoring the public service of Secretary Ben Brancel and wish him and his wife, Gail, all the best as they begin this exciting new chapter; and, be it further
Resolved, That the Senate chief clerk shall provide a copy of this joint resolution to Secretary Ben Brancel.