Sen. Sheila Harsdorf has been appointed by the governor to be the first woman to serve as the secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Submitted photo
Sen. Sheila Harsdorf has been appointed by the governor to be the first woman to serve as the secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Submitted photo
Submitted by Tom Evenson, Office of the Governor

MADISON, WI – Governor Scott Walker today (Friday, November 10, 2017) announced the appointment of State Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R – River Falls) to serve as secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Senator Harsdorf will become the first woman in the agency’s 88-year history to serve as its secretary.

“Sheila’s experience as a highly-respected, dedicated legislator and dairy farmer makes her an excellent fit to lead DATCP,” said Governor Walker. “I thank Sheila for her hard work and willingness to continue serving the public, and I look forward to working with her to keep Wisconsin moving forward.”

Sheila Harsdorf has represented the Wisconsin State Senate’s 10th District since 2001 and served in leadership roles including majority caucus chair, chair of the Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges, as a member of the Joint Committee on Finance, and as a member of the Committee on Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism. She previously represented the 30th Assembly District in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1989-1998. She holds a degree in Animal Science from the University of Minnesota.

“I am honored to serve as DATCP secretary, and I thank Governor Walker for entrusting me to lead,” said Harsdorf. “I’m excited to work with and support our farmers, businesses, and consumers to promote a fair marketplace and economic growth in Wisconsin’s vibrant agriculture industry.”

The Senator released a statement from her office in which she stated further, “Serving the residents of the 10th Senate District has been a distinct honor and privilege. Most rewarding has been the opportunity to work with area residents to address important issues affecting them, their families and communities. We have accomplished much by working together. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the residents of northwestern Wisconsin in the State Senate. Now I look forward to this new opportunity to serve the residents of Wisconsin.”

In her hometown of River Falls, Wisconsin, Sheila Harsdorf remains an active member of Luther Memorial Church. She is a former president of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Sponsor’s Board.

Harsdorf’s resignation from the State Senate is effective at the end of the day, Friday, November 10, 2017, and her effective start date at DATCP is Monday, November 13, 2017.

[UPDATE:] Governor Scott Walker issued Executive Order #265, which calls a special election for the 10th Senate District following the appointment of the Honorable Sheila Harsdorf to Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary. Governor Walker ordered the special election to be held on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. If a primary is necessary, it will be held on Tuesday, December 19, 2017. Circulation of nomination papers for candidates may begin on Friday, November 10. Nomination papers must be filed no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 21, 2017.