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.
Protecting Milk Integrity campaign launched
A branch of ADC, the Protecting Milk Integrity Initiative will work to provide clarity and consistency for consumers across the nation.
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.
Enter now for World Dairy Expo cattle show
MADISON, WIS. –World Dairy Expo is now accepting entries for its 52nd annual Dairy Cattle Show, which runs Oct. 2-6.
Online and paper entry forms are due Aug. 31 by 11:59 p.m. (CST). Late entries may be submitted online through Sept. 9, and paper entries will be honored until the day of the show, both for an increased fee.
To be eligible to show, all animals must have an official Canadian CCIA or USDA AIN RFID or visual tag number listed on the entry form at the time of submission. Animals lacking this number – or with a pending identification status – will not be accepted. For exhibitors residing within the United States and needing tags with an USDA AIN number, Datamars, Inc. is generously providing up to ten 840-series RFID tag sets per exhibitor. More information regarding identification requirements is included in the Premium Book. Read more here.
Wisconsin dairy task force members named
A newly formed Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0 will start meeting next month to focus on on making recommendations on actions needed to maintain a viable and profitable dairy industry in our state.
Gov. Scott Walker announced the new task force and its members. In June, he asked both Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Sheila Harsdorft and University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross to pull together representatives from the entire industry, including farmers, dairy processors and allied industries.
The economic impact of the dairy industry in Wisconsin is significant, employing nearly 80,000 jobs and generating $43.4 billion in state-wide economic impact every year – nearly half of agriculture’s total economic impact. Read more here.
Advice for activist Saratoga officials: Read your own newspapers
The Town of Saratoga in Wood County, Wis., recently received a well-deserved whack across the nose, delivered via the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
For more than five years, community officials attempted to exploit the legal system in an effort to prevent the development of the Golden Sands Dairy, which will eventually house 5,300 animals. They contend the manure will contaminate local drinking water.
In a 5-2 vote, the justices essentially upheld the common sense notion that plaintiffs can’t blame an operation that doesn’t yet exist for a problem that already does. 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.
Dairy Strong 2019 keynote speakers set
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Hundreds of dedicated members of the U.S. dairy community will gather again Jan. 23-24, 2019, at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center, in Madison, Wis., for the fifth annual Dairy Strong conference.
Conference organizers have announced the three keynote speakers for the 2019 event:
Molly Fletcher will serve as the opening keynote for Dairy Strong 2019. She was hailed as the “female Jerry Maguire” as she represented sport’s biggest names, including Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz, PGA TOUR golfer Matt Kuchar, broadcaster Erin Andrews and basketball coaches Tom Izzo and Doc Rivers. 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.
Dairy group warns of dangers from tariffs
GREEN BAY, Wis. — A group representing hundreds of Midwestern dairy farmers issued a statement today regarding the newly imposed tariffs by the United States on steel and aluminum from Canada, the European Union and Mexico. The tariffs, which took effect today, are causing retaliatory levies, including on U.S. cheese and yogurt exports.
“Dairy farmers and processors simply cannot afford a trade war that will choke off access to major partners,” said Brody Stapel, president of the board of directors for Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, who has a dairy farm in Cedar Grove, Wis. “This is especially true of Mexico, which buys nearly a quarter of all dairy products exported by the United States.” Read more here.
Michigan dairy processing expands
By Jessie Cameron
Michigan dairy processors are rapidly increasing capacity as two new dairy processing facilities will be built during the next few years while a current site is expanding.
In April, Agropur Inc., a subsidiary of Canadian-based Agropur Cooperative, announced plans to put $21.3 million into its current plant in Wyoming, Mich., by adding new equipment and making modifications to the facilities. Foremost Farms is building a new $59.7 million processing facility in Greenville, while a partnership with Glanbia plc, Dairy Farmers of America and Select Milk Producers Inc. is working together on a plan to bring a new processing facility online in 2020. Read more here.
Dairy-sponsored run/walk benefits kids
By Michael Kuehl
Similar to America’s dairy industry, the nation’s running community finds itself in difficult circumstances.
While the competitive running sector doubled in demand and participation between 2005 and 2013, it more recently has struggled to maintain its customer base. While 19 million Americans participated in running events in 2013, the number fell just below 17 million just a few years later.
With these statistics, one probably wonders why, in 2017, would Dairy Cares of Wisconsin – a non-profit that benefits Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin – want to organize a Fun Run/Walk? The answer is simple — opportunity. We had an important story to tell and a critical cause to support, and whether we reached 250 people or 500, we knew we wanted to go beyond the dairy industry and reach out to the wider community. Read more here.
Dairies open their doors during June
Tony Korn of Junion Homestead Farm in Casco, Wis., expects to have thousands of visitors show up for breakfast on Father’s Day.
“We chose to host the 2018 Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm to celebrate Junion Homestead Farm’s 150th anniversary of family farming,” Korn said of the June 17 event. “I volunteered about five years ago to secure the 2018 date. We have been planning for the last two years to ensure that everything on the farm is ready to go for the event.”
Korn is one of several dozen farmers across Wisconsin who open up their barns to members of the public during June Dairy Month. Read more here.
Study: Yogurt fights inflammation in women
ROSEMONT, Ill. – A new study funded by National Dairy Council (NDC) shows that healthy, pre-menopausal women who consumed low-fat yogurt before meals reduced their risk for inflammation following the meal.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection, but if the inflammatory response persists for too long, it can lead to chronic inflammation where the body essentially attacks itself and damages organs. Chronic inflammation is a factor in inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and asthma. It also is associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Read more here.
Fischer: Allow peaceful, law-abiding immigrants out of the shadows
Farm Technology Days annual Wis. tradition
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.
Focus on equipment safety this spring
By Karen Johnson
University of Minnesota Extension Educator
HUTCHINSON, Minn. — It seems that spring has finally sprung! The weather is warming up and the frost is coming out of the ground. As farmers, we are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get into the fields. Now is a great time to think about the best ways to be safe around your farm this planting season.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Agriculture continues to rank amongst the most hazardous industries. Approximately, 417 farmers and farm workers died from work-related injury in 2016, resulting in a fatality rate of 21.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. Transportation incidents including tractor overturns was the leading cause of death for farmers and farm workers. Approximately 100 agricultural workers suffer lost work-time injury every day. Just another reason why farm safety needs to be practiced every day to prevent serious or fatal injuries on our farms. Read more here.
Blizzard-impacted farms need to take action
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. Read more here.
DNR does not track all manure spreading
Wisconsin farmers are dealing with challenging conditions this spring, including a mid-April blizzard followed less than a week later by temperatures in the 50s and 60s.
Since farmers normally spread manure on fields once spring arrives, there has been some concern about how any spreading done before or after the blizzard may affect water quality and soil health. Last Friday, for example, manure from Mahr Brothers LLC Farm in Stanley spread on a field entered a pond and tributary to Hay Creek. The spill was contained and the Department of Natural Resources is still investigating.
According to the DNR, that agency and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection do not have a way to track when and how much manure non-regulated farms – such as Mahr Brothers — may be spreading. That means the DNR is unaware if any manure from those fields ran off with the melting snow unless it is reported, said DNR spokesman Andrew Savagian. 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.
Wisconsin farm named a ‘dairy of distinction’
By Dairy Farmers of America
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Styer family, owners of Alfalawn Farm in Menomonie, Wis., has been named a 2018 Members of Distinction by Dairy Farmers of America (DFA).
The Members of Distinction program recognizes dairy farmers who excel on their operations, in their communities and in the industry. Honorees inspire others through their actions, leadership and involvement. They represent the best of the dairy industry.
DFA comprises more than 14,500 farmer-owners across the United States. Each year, one notable member farm from each of DFA’s seven regional Areas is selected to receive this honor. Alfalawn Farm represents the Cooperative’s Central Area. Read more here.
Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) of Novi, Mich. and Foremost Farms USA of Baraboo, Wis., announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU incorporates intense focus within the two cooperatives to drive mutual investment to maximize members’ returns on their quality milk.
The MOU formalizes advanced discussions between the two cooperatives to pursue proposed co-investment opportunities which include, but are not limited to, the Middlebury Cheese Company and the recently announced dairy campus in Greenville, Mich. It also incorporates expanding the current strategic alliance the two cooperatives have had in place since 2014 at the MMPA Constantine plant with the reverse osmosis investment. Read more here.
Yahara Pride Farms builds on success
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.
Several speakers covered topics that affect all farmers such as staying focused in challenging agricultural times, cover crop usage and the future of the organization. Read more here.