MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) — The Wisconsin State Senate voted Tuesday to essentially fire the state's top agriculture official.

The vote went along party lines, 19-14, not to confirm the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) secretary designee Brad Pfaff. Pfaff has been serving in the role since February when Governor Tony Evers (D-Wisconsin) appointed him.

The Senate debated for hours on Tuesday about whether or not confirm the state's top agriculture official.

Last week Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) told Evers he did not think Pfaff would be confirmed.

“When it came to Brad Pfaff I told the governor I don't think there's enough support there for him and it's because of a number of missteps that have happened going back to February,” Fitzgerald said to the Senate.

Pfaff grew up on a Wisconsin dairy and previously worked for Democratic U.S. Representative from Wisconsin Ron Kind and the Farm Service Agency.

He passed unanimously out of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue, and Financial Institutions in February. Five republicans sit on that committee and all of them declined to tell the senate floor why they changed their vote.

Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) was one of many to both speak in support of Pfaff and point out the changing of the votes from the committee members.

“It's just wrong, it is unfair and I know some of you in the outer rim do not feel good about this,” Shilling said.

Some Republicans spoke in defense of the vote change, saying minds can change as more information comes.

Pfaff had a public dispute with senate legislators earlier this year calling them out over the removal of funding for mental health services for farmers from Evers' budget. That money was later added back in.

DATCP also recently came under scrutiny for proposed rules — known as ATCP 51 — about manure placement and environmental considerations during farm expansions.

“There's a whole slew of things I think that anybody could bring forth, but you've got to be comfortable, and I think as we stand here today there are several members of the majority that just aren't comfortable with Brad Pfaff,” Fitzgerald said.

In a rare appearance for a sitting governor on the senate floor, Evers watched the debate and vote.

Evers took questions from reporters immediately following the 19-14 vote to fire Pfaff.

“This was a vote against the farmers of Wisconsin. Period,” Evers said.

Evers was upset that Pfaff's comments about mental health funding may have lead to the vote to fire him.

“To think that they're going to have to keep their mouth shut for the next four years, that is just absolute bull s***t,” Evers said.

Evers said he did not yet know what was next for the secretary position or Pfaff.