MADISON (WKOW) -- When learning about DATCP Secretary Rod Nilsestuen's death, Governor Jim Doyle issued this statement:
"Rod Nilsestuen was a visionary agriculture leader. He is one of the most important agriculture leaders in Wisconsin history. Under his incredible leadership Wisconsin has seen the greatest and most beneficial transformation of agriculture in generations. Among many other accomplishments, Rod's legacy includes dramatic increases in milk and cheese production, dynamic growth in organic farming and grazing operations, protecting our state's farmland through the working lands initiative, promoting the development of biofuels and bioenergy to generate homegrown renewable energy in Wisconsin, connecting consumers to local farmers through the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program and strong support for investments in America's dairyland. Rod was an internationally respected leader in the cooperative movement. He worked to make sure farmers received the economic value of their work. On top of all these professional accomplishments, he was a warm, humorous and wonderful husband, father and friend."