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Walker Appoints Harsdorf as Agriculture Head

Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) is resigning from her Senate seat to take over as head of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) is resigning from her Senate seat to take over as head of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. |  Photo: Wisconsin Blue Book

November 10, 2017 05:59 PM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker has appointed Republican state Sen. Sheila Harsdorf as secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

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The appointment announced Friday makes Harsdorf the first woman to lead the agency. She will replace Ben Brancel, who retired in August.

Harsdorf, of River Falls, is resigning her northwestern Wisconsin state Senate seat on Friday and beginning the new job on Monday. Walker called a special election for Jan. 16, with a primary on Dec. 19 if necessary.

State Rep. Adam Jarchow, of Balsam Lake, announced he will seek the seat.

Harsdorf's 10th district seat includes portions of Burnett, Polk, St. Croix, Pierce, and Dunn counties, stretching from Memononie to Webster.

The 61-year-old Harsdorf served in the Assembly from 1989 to 1999 and has been in the Senate since 2001. She is a member of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee.

Walker says Harsdorf's experience both as a lawmaker and dairy farmer makes her an "excellent fit" for the DATCP job.


WDIO

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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