Latest News & Views

Dairy groups applaud FDA move to crack down on non-dairy labeling

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Two dairy groups with members throughout the Midwest applauded comments made Tuesday by the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, who said the agency will crack down on the use of the term “milk” for nondairy products.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said his agency will soon start a formal process to redefine the rules for milk products. Read more here.

Farm Discovery Center plans grand opening

MANITOWOC, Wis. —  The Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center will hold its grand opening from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sat., July 28 and Sun., July 29 at 7001 Gass Lake Road.
The special introductory ticket prices for the weekend will be $12 for Adults and $6 for children (ages 4-18) and free for children 3 and under.  Activities and special events planned throughout the day include face painting, games, baby calves being born in the Land O’Lakes Birthing Barn, and self-guided tours of interactive exhibits.  Although Farm Wisconsin will be offering daily tours of nearby Grotegut Dairy Farm, due to the large crowds expected on grand opening weekend, tours will not be offered. Read more here.

Protecting Milk Integrity campaign launched

By American Dairy Coalition
The American Dairy Coalition (ADC) is rolling out a new initiative to advocate for the proper use of federally standardized terms established for the word “milk” on product labels entitled the Protecting Milk Integrity Initiative.
A branch of ADC, the Protecting Milk Integrity Initiative will work to provide clarity and consistency for consumers across the nation.
This new initiative has been rolled out as the FDA gears up for its Multi-Year Nutrition Innovation Strategy; Public Meeting; Request for Comments event that will take place July 26. This meeting will discuss the possibility of expanding the “standard of identify” used to define the word milk. Read more here.

More farmers growing industrial hemp

By Jessie Cameron
A once popular agricultural crop is finding new fans.
Industrial hemp, which is used in a variety of products, was hit hard by the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, which did not distinguish between hemp and its cousin, the cannabis plant. The act was passed due to concern about the drug, with support from industry interests, including timber, that were worried about a new process that easily created paper from hemp.
As part of the 2014 Farm Bill, however, Congress opened the door to allow farmers the opportunity to grow marijuana’s non-psychoactive cousin as a research pilot program. Since then, 32 states have signed on board to participate in research pilot programs related to industrial hemp. Colorado leads the nation in hemp production, accounting for one-third of all legal production. Read more here.

Wisconsin may get soybean crushing facility

By Jessie Cameron
Wisconsin may soon have its first soybean crushing facility.
If the $150 million project moves forward in Waupun, construction would start in 2019 and open in 2020. The plant would process up to 100,000 bushels of soybeans a day. Waupun and the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board are jointly soliciting the facility’s development.
A 65.5-acre location in Waupun Industrial Park has been selected as the potential site for the project following a feasibility study conducted by Frazier, Barnes & Associates, LLC. Read more here.

Artisan cheesemakers create Mosaic Meadows

KAUKAUNA, Wis. – Three world-class cheese companies — Wisconsin-based La Clare Family Creamery and Saxon Creamery along with Verona, Pa.-based Lamagna Cheese Co. — have combined forces to create Mosaic Meadows, a company of family-operated cheesemakers.
The merger will allow each creamery to further expand its world-class artisanal product lines, while sharing resources in marketing, service and sales capabilities.
“’Mosaic Meadows’ is the perfect name,” said Alex Coenen, the company’s director of business development. “A mosaic is an assembly of small colorful pieces that combine to create a larger work of art.” Read more here.

Tech Tilling: Precision ag is here and now

In addition to changing the way farmers approach their work, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology is demanding a new set of skills for everyone involved.
“Using GPS to precisely track what’s being done in farm fields puts the focus on production and profit concerning each acre, while factoring in topography and drainage,” said Randy Tenpas, department chair of Fox Valley Technical College’s (FVTC) agriculture programs in Wisconsin.
Much of today’s agriculture equipment comes with systems needed for precision farming installed at the factory. Read more here.