Wisconsin’s new governor, Scott McCallum, has appointed Jim Harsdorf of Beldenville, Wis., as secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in that state, replacing Ben Brancel.

McCallum, the former lieutenant governor of the state, was named governor earlier this year as former governor Tommy Thompson was selected to lead the U.S. Health and Human Services Agency in Washington, D.C.

Harsdorf has been a dairy producer since 1970. He served as a member of the Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection board from 1989 to 1996, including as its chairman from 1993 to 1996. Harsdorf also served in the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate.

Harsdorf is also an advisor on the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin Board and is a member of the Ag Advisory Council at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

“As a long-time dairy farmer, Jim is in touch with the needs of Wisconsin farmers and the difficulties they face,” Gov. McCallum said. “Jim’s firsthand experience will be extremely helpful to farmers as they look to his agency for guidance.”

Meanwhile, sources say that Brancel is a candidate for a deputy secretary position at the USDA. However, no appointments have been announced.