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Today in History - 1997: Ben Brancel Named State Ag Secretary
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 10/09/2017

The following story was run by the Associated Press and Wisconsin State Journal on October 8, 1997

Forget budget debates and legislative arm-twisting. Assembly Speaker Ben Brancel has a shot at what he was practically born to do: run Wisconsin's agriculture department. Gov. Tommy Thompson appointed Brancel, a fifth generation farmer from Endeavor, as the new head of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Thompson, making the announcement Wednesday at the agency's headquarters, said he picked Brancel because of his experience both as a lawmaker and a farmer.

"I think Ben is an excellent choice," said acting secretary Joe Tregoning, who will stay on at the department as deputy secretary. "Ben has shown outstanding leadership Downtown, he brings integrity and leadership to the job and he's a great spokesman for agriculture."

Brancel, 47, whose home is a 350-acre farm near Endeavor, population 396, has for the last 11 years represented a Republican-leaning Assembly district that stretches north from Baraboo and Portage into Adams and Marquette counties.

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