Wisconsin Veterans and the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection

By Randy Romanski, DATCP Secretary-Designee

Wisconsin’s veterans are extremely valuable to our state’s community, workforce, and economy. The determination, skill, and commitment of our veterans are some of the greatest assets we have as a state. Since day one, Governor Tony Evers has charged Wisconsin’s administrative agencies with connecting the dots. At the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), we work each day to connect dots between the many different Wisconsin communities we serve – including veterans.

DATCP’s responsibilities are diverse and wide-ranging. About one in nine people who are working in Wisconsin hold a job related to agriculture, so there are plenty of opportunities for those who are interested. Our largest division is the Division of Food and Recreational Safety. This team works to make sure the products you buy and the places you go are safe. Our next-largest division is Trade and Consumer Protection. This division helps ensure a fair marketplace by enforcing Wisconsin’s consumer protection laws, educating consumers, and verifying the accuracy of scales and prices across the state. We want to make sure that when you pay for a gallon of gas or a pound of lunch meat at the deli counter, you get what you paid for.

DATCP’s other four divisions deal more closely with the world of agriculture. The Division of Agricultural Development works to support Wisconsin farmers and promote Wisconsin agriculture. If you’ve heard of the Wisconsin Farm Center, Alice in Dairyland, or Something Special from Wisconsin™, this is where those programs are located. The Division of Animal Health monitors the movement of domestic animals and livestock in and out of the state and responds to animal disease outbreaks and other emergencies. The Division of Agricultural Resource Management works with counties, farmers, and agribusinesses to ensure responsible use of Wisconsin’s land and water resources. The Division of Management Services is responsible for all agency operations, including IT, lab testing, and budgeting. This includes everything from hemp testing to pesticides and even food samples. 

So, how does our work relate to Wisconsin’s veterans? Our Farm Center houses the Veteran Farmer Assistance and Outreach Program, which helps veterans access resources, guidance on farm business planning, and a specialized logo that can be used to notify consumers that a product is “Homegrown by Heroes”. Our Consumer Protection Hotline is available to all Wisconsinites, including veterans, who need assistance with consumer topics like identity theft or landlord/tenant issues.

There is also a place for veterans in DATCP’s workforce. In Executive Order #1, Governor Tony Evers emphasized the importance of equity and inclusivity in state employment. We take this seriously at DATCP. In fact, many of our positions are well-suited for the skills many veterans possess: organization, attention to detail, and a can-do attitude.

Explore our openings by visiting https://wisc.jobs and selecting “Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection” in the Agency/Campus menu.

Thank you, veterans, for your service to our country and our state. Your experience, knowledge, and skills are appreciated and valued. Along with our partner agencies, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is here to serve you.

Randy Romanski was appointed secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection by Governor Tony Evers in June 2020. Prior to this appointment, he served as DATCP deputy secretary since January 2019 and interim secretary since November 2019. He brings decades of experience in government administration and policy development to the department.

Romanski has held leadership roles at multiple state agencies. He previously served as DATCP's deputy secretary and secretary under Governor Jim Doyle, working on issues such as farmland preservation, local foods, Farm to School, and renewable energy. Romanski has also served as the executive assistant for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Department of Transportation.