Latest News & Views

Annual Wis. event focuses on farm technology

Equipment demonstrations are a highlight of the annual Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. This year’s event will be held in Wood County.

By Leah Call
Excitement is building in Wood County, Wis., as they put the final touches on preparations for the upcoming Wisconsin Farm Technology Days (WFTD), the largest outdoor agriculture show in the state and one of the largest in the nation.
The 2018 show will take place July 10-12 at two farms outside of Marshfield, Wis. The two host farms — the D&B Sternweis Farms and Weber’s Farm Store/Heiman Holsteins — invite farmers and non-farmers to enjoy the sights and flavors of this central Wisconsin agricultural hub while discovering the latest in farm innovation.
“The show typically draws 35,000 to 45,000 people, and with it being near the center of the state, it will probably be in the upper part of that range,” said WFTD coordinator Matthew Glewen. Read more here.

Fischer: Allow peaceful, law-abiding immigrants out of the shadows

By Laurie Fischer

Milk is one of the most common and essential items on any American consumer’s grocery list. However, before it ever reaches your local grocery store shelf, the safe and abundant production of milk involves many steps — including top-quality animal care, modern milking procedures, state-of-the-art logistics and health-conscious food processing.
 Each step provides much-needed jobs to both rural and urban communities and pours billions of dollars into our economy. A great deal hinges on the viability of the U.S. dairy industry, not the least of which are providing safe, nutritional food products to families throughout the world and employing hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans. Read more here.

ADC: Blizzard-impacted farms need to act

In an effort to speed up potential relief efforts for farmers impacted by Wisconsin’s recent Blizzard Evelyn, the Wisconsin-based American Dairy Coalition (ADC) is asking those who sustained damage to contact their Farm Service Agency (FSA) office immediately.
Officials will quantify the damage reports and estimate the losses on a county-by-county basis. The totals will be provided to Gov. Scott Walker to use as the criteria for possible monetary assistance from state and/or federal resources.
“Time is of the essence,” said Laurie Fischer, ADC chief executive officer. “Whether they are facing collapsed structures, lost milk production, high insurance deductibles, animal losses or other situations, farmers need to get their damages on the record with their local FSA office. Just one phone call could have a big impact down the road.” Read more here.

WI Milk Marketing Board adopts new name

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board has a new name – Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW). This initiative represents a new strategic mission, vision and identity more firmly aligning the efforts of Wisconsin’s dairy farmers to expand growth opportunities domestically and around the world.
“As the marketing and promotion arm for Wisconsin’s dairy farmers, this new identity puts the dairy farmers squarely at the center of what we do and provides a much stronger platform to share the Wisconsin dairy story,” said Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin CEO Chad Vincent. “Our organization exists to be tireless advocates for our dairy farmers, to help these family businesses thrive because they, and the fruits of their labor, are the heartbeat of the industry and our state.” Read more here.

Yahara Pride Farms builds on success

Keith Ripp, assistant deputy secretary at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, spoke at the annual Yahara Pride meeting in DeForest, Wis.

DEFOREST, Wis. — More than 125 farmers, community members and agribusiness professionals came together recently to celebrate conservation accomplishments and future projects.
“Building on success” formed the core of the Yahara Pride Farms Watershed-wide Conference on March 7.
Yahara Pride Farms (YPF) is a farmer-led non-profit organization working to improve soil and water quality. The group strives to help advance new ideas and technology that balance water quality improvement with farm sustainability and profitability.  Read more here.

Growing tried and true talent in the ag sector

Fox Valley Technical College agriculture instructor Kevin Rauchholz shares insight with his students on farm animal health during one of his classes at the college in Appleton, Wis.

By Kevin Rauchholz
Tugging heavy books. Cramming overnight. Running on a lightning-fast career pathway. Balancing work, family, and school. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? These are just a smidgeon of the demands confronting today’s busy college students.
For students in Fox Valley Technical College’s (FVTC) agriculture programs, reaching the end of the higher education grind comes with a few checks and balances. Those checkpoints of success often include robust internship experiences and hands-on field activities, which in turn contribute immensely to the college’s impressive graduate employment rates year in and year out. Read more here.

Understanding the truth about eggs

Eggs are receiving more attention than ever before. Whether it’s a question about nutritional value or the living conditions of chickens, consumers are looking for answers. Midwest Agriculture Almanac took some common questions to egg experts – they do exist – to find the answers.
Why do some eggs have different shell colors? There is no discernable nutritional difference between eggs with white shells and eggs with brown shells. Brown eggs tend to have more omega-3 fatty acids, but the difference is miniscule. There’s also no difference in yolk or taste. Read more here.

Baldwin: Fairness for our farmers

By Senator Tammy Baldwin
Wisconsin’s dairy industry is a key driver of our state’s agricultural economy and a core part of our rural communities.
Our dairy farmers work every day to ensure that their milk meets high standards for nutritional value and quality. Unfortunately, imitation products have gotten away with using dairy’s good name for their own benefit, taking advantage of the effort our farmers put in with none of the work. Mislabeling of plant-based products as “milk” is unfair and hurts our dairy farmers. Read more here.