Senate Agrees to Johnson Motion to Protect Wisconsin Farmers in Bipartisan Vote

WASHINGTON—On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) offered a motion to instruct (MTI) the USICA conferees to reject any proposals to prohibit the possession, acquirement, receipt, transportation, sale, or purchase of mink raised in captivity in the United States for fur production.

“This is truly one of the more inappropriate additions the House made to this bill to ban the farming of mink for the production of fur. I have no idea why they would include it in here. It makes no sense to be included,” said the senator.

“Actually in Wisconsin, it [mink farming] supports hundreds of jobs and produces exports to China. My motion is simply to instruct to reject any proposal that would ban mink farming. I want to thank Senators Romney, Danes, and Boozman for their support of this amendment. I urge my colleagues to support American farmers by voting in favor of this motion to instruct,” the senator concluded.

Wisconsin has the largest presence of mink farms in the country. The 2021 Wisconsin mink farming crop was valued at $40 million and supports over 250 full-time employees and over 500 seasonal employees in rural communities. The total Wisconsin mink pelt inventory is estimated to be 1.5 million pelts with a valuation of $75 million.

On April 21, 2022, Sen. Johnson, along with Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.), sent a letter to the Senate USICA Conferees requesting that they strike out a provision from the House America COMPETES Act that would prohibit raising mink for fur production.

Watch Senator Johnson’s remarks here.