Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center opening date set

By MAA
Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center will officially open July 28, just south of Manitowoc on Gass Lake Road northwest of the Interstate 43 and County C intersection.

Planning for the center started in 2010. The $13 million attraction is a world-class, interactive discovery center that will focus on the diversity of Wisconsin agriculture within a framework of sustainable and responsible farming practices.

“Only 2 percent of Americans produce food for the other 98 percent of us,” said Julie Maurer, Farm Wisconsin board president and a Manitowoc County dairy farmer. “Wisconsin has a rich agricultural heritage.” Continue reading “Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center opening date set”

Time to give Wildeman her fair due

Anna Wildeman

By MAA
It’s time for a pop quiz.
An up-and-coming professional woman — boasting a top-tier education, impressive credentials and a track record of ethical decision making — is appointed to a key position in state government. Two words often associated with her are “leadership” and “accomplishment.”
You’re a journalist (older, white and male) and you’ve been asked to write a story about her. For the record: You don’t live under a rock. You’re aware of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements sweeping the nation, demanding an end to the “toxic masculinity” that has dogged women in all fields.
Do you …
A) Write an objective story, featuring voices of colleagues, peers and people who know her best — both as allies and adversaries — including an acknowledgement of the achievements this woman has accomplished on behalf of the citizens in her state?
B) Gather and highlight the voices of her enemies, questioning her ethics and openly insinuating that she may not be qualified for the position, in part, because she is married to a man who you suggest would exercise undue influence on her professional conduct. Continue reading “Time to give Wildeman her fair due”

Growing exports vital to dairy industry’s success

Patrick Flood Photography

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

MADISON, Wis. — The key to the dairy industry’s success lies in exports as the world’s growing middle class seeks to add more dairy to their diet, according to milk marketing experts who participated in a panel discussion Jan. 18 at the Dairy Strong conference at Monona Terrace.

Panel moderator Mike North, who is president of the Dairy Business Association, kicked off the discussion by pointing out an estimated 15 percent of milk produced in Wisconsin is exported to other countries. Continue reading “Growing exports vital to dairy industry’s success”

Navarro to dairy farmers: Make voice heard on immigration

Patrick Flood Photography

By MAA

MADISON, Wis. — If Congress and President Trump do not make progress on immigration legislation before spring, Republican strategist and CNN political analyst Ana Navarro predicts it will not get done in 2018.

Navarro spoke to hundreds of dairy farmers and other industry professionals during the annual Dairy Strong conference Jan. 18 at Monona Terrace. Immigration is a key issue for dairy farmers since immigrants make up a large portion of their workforce. Continue reading “Navarro to dairy farmers: Make voice heard on immigration”

LaClare Family Creamery wins Good Food Award

LaClare Family Creamery received a 2018 Good Food Award for its Evalon and Cave-Aged Chandoka cheeses.

By MAA

MALONE, Wis. — Selected on the merits of best agricultural practices and great taste, a pair of LaClare Family Creamery cheeses have won the nationally recognized 2018 Good Food Award.

The non-profit, San Francisco-based Good Food Foundation cited Wisconsin-based LaClare Family Creamery’s Evalon and Cave-Aged Chandoka cheeses at the top tier among the nation’s top cheeses.

“The 2018 Winners represent the vanguard in each of their industries, setting new standards for gastronomic excellence as well as social and environmental practices that have over time proven to be adopted by the rest of the industry,” the foundation reported. Continue reading “LaClare Family Creamery wins Good Food Award”

Dairy well-being workshop focuses on animal care

By MAA

Why aren’t cows allowed to go outdoors?  Why are calves raised without social interaction?  These are just a couple of the questions that consumers have about how dairy animals are cared for.  Animal welfare continues to be critical topic for dairy producers as consumers question where their food comes from, and activists pressure food companies to influence how animals are raised. Continue reading “Dairy well-being workshop focuses on animal care”

Larson wins dairy advocacy award

Patrick Flood Photography

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

MADISON, Wis. — The state’s dairy community honored an Evansville farmer for her tireless work in promoting dairy farming in her community and across the state while also maintaining a vital role on her family’s farm.

Sandy Larson shed tears when her name was announced as the Dairy Business Association’s Advocate of the Year on Wednesday night at the Dairy Strong conference at the Monona Terrace. Continue reading “Larson wins dairy advocacy award”

Schimel: Regulatory certainty key for ag, other businesses

Patrick Flood Photography

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

MADISON, Wis. — Since becoming Wisconsin’s attorney general in 2015, Brad Schimel has focused on bringing predictability and stability to the state’s regulatory environment.

Schimel, who spoke to dairy farmers and related agricultural professionals during the Dairy Strong conference Thursday at Monona Terrace, said that when businesses do not know what to expect regarding regulations they become hesitant to add employees or expand operations.

When Schimel issued a legal opinion in 2016 keeping in check the power of the state Department of Natural Resources to regulate high-capacity wells, he was looking to create certainty for state farmers who had been left in limbo. Continue reading “Schimel: Regulatory certainty key for ag, other businesses”

Conference looks at urban/rural divide in Wisconsin

By MAA
MADISON — After spending a decade visiting rural communities and inviting herself to listen in on informal conversations about politics at diners, gas stations and other local gathering spots, University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist Kathy Cramer has learned a lot about the state’s rural-urban divide. She summarized her findings in her 2016 book The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker.

On  Jan. 25, Cramer will interpret her book for an agricultural audience during the keynote talk at the 2018 Wisconsin Agricultural Outlook Forum. The theme of this year’s forum is “Navigating the Rural-Urban Divide in Wisconsin.”

Due to her unusual research approach, Cramer developed a unique and deep understanding of a perspective she calls rural consciousness, which she describes as someone’s identity as a rural person combined with a sense that people in rural communities do not get their fair share of attention, resources and respect. Cramer will explain this perspective at the forum. Continue reading “Conference looks at urban/rural divide in Wisconsin”