Latest News & Views

Kewaunee farmers make progress on water quality

LUXEMBURG, Wis. — Don Niles would’ve understood if the third year of the region’s farmer-led conservation group had been slow going in the quest to improve water quality.
“We can design it to tell a little story about the farm, the cover-crop concept, the buffering process or whatever we’re doing in this specific field,” Nysse said. “It gives more information to the individual walking by.
After all, dairy farmers are trying to manage with painfully low milk prices that are hitting bottom lines hard.  But that wasn’t the case.
“We’re very proud we had an active, energetic year despite the overall difficulties in the dairy economy right now. Members have been more than willing to step in and help with several research projects,” Niles, president of Peninsula Pride Farms who has a dairy in Casco, said at the group’s annual meeting Feb. 13. Read more here.

Survey: Plant-based foods cause confusion among consumers

MADISON, Wis. — In a marketplace increasingly crowded by plant-based imitation dairy products, the results of a new survey show that customers are confused about whether those products are indeed dairy foods and whether they carry the same nutritional value. The research evaluated three plant-based foods that mimic dairy cheese to understand if the packaging and descriptions are confusing. The survey, conducted by Ravel, was commissioned by Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA), Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, based in Wisconsin. The results were announced on Jan. 23 at the Dairy Strong Conference. Read more here.

Are retailers destroying the dairy industry?

By Laurie Fischer

Squeezed on virtually every front — multi-front trade wars, eroding international markets, government shutdowns, etc. — the entire dairy sector is feeling the vice tighten even more from a direction they never anticipated — the retail sector. According to the National Dairy Products Sales Report, the December Class III cheese price was 27.4 cents (or 16.6 percent) lower than December 2017. However, the U.S. retail average price for cheddar cheese in December, according to CPI data, was 41 cents (or 8.3 percent) higher than December 2017. Read more here.

Lab honoring Dairy Cares opens

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has launched the Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Lab, a state-of-the-art training facility that will allow medical professionals to learn and sharpen their skills. The Milwaukee-based, 2,000-square-foot lab marks a milestone for Dairy Cares, a non-profit organization that has raised more than $1 million for Children’s in the eight years since its inception. Read more here.

FVTC’s combine simulator brings harvest to life

By Jason Fischer
Fox Valley Technical College
Practice makes perfect, at least near perfect, in an industry that assumes uncontrollable factors like weather and related seasonal uncertainties. A new combine tractor simulator at Fox Valley Technical College, donned in unmistakable John Deere green and yellow, is a virtual ride through any farm field and field condition. The simulation gives agriculture students from five different programs at FVTC another high-tech learning tool. Housed in the Service Motor Company Agriculture Center on the Appleton, Wis., campus, the technology creates an authentic experience of being inside a tractor combine, making this type of practice far from boring. Read more here.