Longtime public servant and current Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection announced on Thursday (July 20) that he will retire in August. Ben Brancl has served in a variety of positions over three decades of public service, including three terms as DATCP Secretary, Speaker of the State Assembly, and Wisconsin Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency. 

"I have given this much thought about when is the right time to retire. I came to the conclusion that there always will be unfinished business to be done, but now is the time to return to my family’s farm full-time in Marquette County as we plan for our first ever production sale," Brancel said in a statement. "My son and daughter-in-law are now the sixth generation to farm the land. My first job was a farmer, and my last job will be a farmer."

No announcement has been made about his successor.