News

Dairy co-op pleased with NAFTA replacement

By MAA
GREEN BAY — Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative representatives praised Friday’s signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) — a replacement for NAFTA — but said more needs to be done to resolve tariff issues that continue to hurt farmers. The Co-op represents dairy farmers not only in Wisconsin, but across the Midwest.
According to Edge President Brody Stapel, USMCA includes important provisions for dairy, including retaining market certainty with Mexico, protecting common cheese names in the Mexican market, adding transparency provisions for oversight of Canada’s internal pricing structure and placing limits on certain Canadian exports. The deal still needs to be approved by Congress, a process that will likely push into 2019. Read more here.

Dairy Strong preparing for its fifth year

By MAA
Hundreds of dedicated members of the U.S. dairy community will gather Jan. 23-24, 2019, at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center, in Madison, Wis., for the fifth annual Dairy Strong conference.
Dairy Strong organizers work hard to build content that is relevant to opportunities and challenges faced by today’s dairy farmers. Read more here.

New Dairy Revenue Protection Plan aids farms

By Aaron Gransee
Investors Community Bank
A subsidized, pooled, put option is one way to think of the new Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) plan of insurance. To put it simply, insureds choose when to insure their milk, how much milk to insure, how to price their milk and whether to add a multiplier to increase any indemnity paid. That’s it.
Sales take place every business day beginning at approximately 4 p.m. and end at 9 a.m. the following day. Coverage is available on a quarterly basis and can be purchased up to five quarters out. That being said, insureds who want to insure milk during the first quarter of 2019 would be insuring January, February and March milk, meaning a three-month pool of milk is insured together, per policy written. Read more here.

Stapel adjusts to Co-op’s presidency

Wisconsin farmer balances Edge role with running dairy

By Jesse Cameron
MAA
It is hard to imagine, but 10 years ago Brody Stapel, the current president of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, was not involved in the dairy industry.
Like many kids, Stapel admitted he could not wait to get off his family’s farm near Howards Grove, Wis., and head off to college and beyond – including living in New Zealand. “I wanted nothing to do with the family farm,” he said.
But times – and opinions – change and Stapel told his wife, who was pregnant with their first child, that he wanted to bring his children up on a farm. In 2009, he started working with his father, Rudy, on the family’s farm, which milked 80 cows. Read more here.

 

Fischer: Trade wars trigger crisis for dairy farms

By Laurie Fischer
American Dairy Coalition
Times are tough for farmers across the nation, milk prices are low and dairy producers have been hit hard by tariffs on the products they export to some of our major dairy trading partners.
This year, President Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum on Mexico and China to push back on trade agreements deemed unfair by the U.S.  As a result, Mexico retaliated with its own tariffs of up to 25 percent. As a result, third quarter cheese exports to Mexico are down 11 percent from 2017. China also imposed its own tariffs of 25 percent on a large amount of U.S. dairy products, resulting in whey sales to China decreasing 8.2 percent so far this year. Read more here.

Farmer-led groups focus on conservation

By Tim Froberg
MAA
No one knows the struggles, hardships and challenges that crop up daily on the farm better than farmers.
That’s why state farmers are working together on an action plan to improve agricultural and conservation practices. While there are multiple farmer-led conservation groups in Wisconsin, they all share a common goal – to protect the precious soil and water in the Badger State for themselves and future generations.
There are four farmer-led groups who have made the most progress so far and garnered the most attention in Wisconsin: Yahara Pride Farms, Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance, the Western Wisconsin Conservation Council and Peninsula Pride Farms. Read more here.

Tech giant invests in ginseng industry

By Jesse Cameron
MAA
A Tawainese tech company is looking to transform Wisconsin’s ginseng industry.
Foxconn Health Technology Business Group signed an agreement earlier this fall with the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin and Hsu’s Ginseng to jointly develop Wisconsin’s ginseng industry and grow Foxconn’s Wisconsin-based ginseng brand, Hong Seng.
Foxconn is building a $10 billion manufacturing campus in southeast Wisconsin and is also investing in other parts of the state, such as opening innovation centers in Eau Claire and Green Bay. Read more here.

Program gives lift to Iowa farmers

Bill and Stacey Borrenpohl launched Woven Strong Farm in Jackson County in 2011, then joined Practical Farmers of Iowa and enrolled in the Savings Incentive Program shortly afterwards.

For MAA
AMES, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Savings Incentive Program aims to help beginning farmers succeed by matching up to $2,400 in start-up cash, providing access to an experienced mentor as well as support network and offering resources to build a solid business plan.
Since the popular two-year program launched in 2010, SIP has helped set 138 beginning farmers on the right path to establishing a healthy farm business.
After 24 months and completion of all program requirements, participants earn a dollar-for-dollar match on money saved up to $2,400, for a possible $4,800, that may be used to help purchase a farm asset. This savings component helps beginning farmers overcome prohibitive start-up costs, though many participants cite the networking, mentorship and business plan work as the most beneficial aspects of the program. 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.

 Dairy Revenue Protection plan makes its debut

By Leah Call
MAA
There’s a new federal crop insurance product that helps protect dairy farms from unexpected declines in milk prices.
The Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) insurance plan debuted Oct. 9. The new federal crop-insurance offering is the result of a two-year effort spearheaded by the American Farm Bureau Federation, in collaboration with the Risk Management Association of the USDA.

“The reason they brought this program about is that milk is a flow commodity. Farmers don’t have the ability to store it. They have to sell it for whatever the price is for that day,” said Mike Janicki, director of sales for Rural Mutual Insurance Company, which offers DRP in Wisconsin through Farm Bureau Insurance Services. Read more here.

Feast & Famine in the ag industry

McCormick advertises itself as a GMO-free source fo spices. The problem? There are no GMO spices available. Another example of deceptive advertising.

By MAA
FEAST:
 A far-reaching study of agricultural techniques by Cambridge University scientists confirms what our great-grandparents knew generations ago.
“There is mounting evidence that the best way to meet rising food demand while conserving biodiversity is to wring as much food as sustainably possible from the land we do farm, so that more natural habitats can be ‘spared the plough,’” said conservation expert and project co-author Dr. David Edwards from the University of Sheffield.
Researchers focused on organic farming in the European dairy sector and determined that for the same amount of milk produced by conventional dairy farming, organic systems cause at least one third more soil loss. Read more here.

World Dairy Expo winners celebrated

By MAA
MADISON, Wis. — For only the second time in World Dairy Expo’s 52-year history, the Supreme Champion of the Junior Show and the Supreme Champion of World Dairy Expo are the same cow: Cutting Edge T Delilah. She was exhibited by Kyle Barton of Copake, N.Y., and is the Grand Champion Brown Swiss and the 2018 Supreme Champion of both the junior and open shows.
Other World Dairy Expo highlights included:
The inaugural Supreme Champion Heifer, MilkSource Gentry Marriot-ET, was also the Junior Champion of the International Jersey Show. She was exhibited by MilkSource Genetics, LLC of Kaukauna, Wis., in partnership with Finca Valparaiso of Guatemala. Read more here.

3 ‘perfect’ cows in 3 breeds for MilkSource

By MAA
KAUKAUNA, Wis. — Northeast Wisconsin’s MilkSource Genetics has achieved an unprecedented Triple Crown.
With the upgrading of Weeks Dundee Anika to the rare EX-97 classification, the family-owned show barn has reached the pinnacle score with cows from three major show breeds.
In 2014, the farm’s Blondin Redman Seisme became the first Red & White Holstein cow to achieve the milestone rating. In February, another MSG cow, Musqie Iatola Martha, became the youngest Jersey in history to achieve the 97 score. Now, Holstein Association USA has bestowed the landmark classification to Weeks Dundee Anika — a black-and-white Holstein. Read more here.

A seat at the table for young agriculturists

By Kelly Wilfert
For MAA
Our youth are our future.
Few understand this better than the American farmer. From little ones on, agriculturists train our youth for the future. We plan to preserve the land, pass on the farm and share stories of our own lessons learned. From farm chores and tractor rides to 4-H and FFA, we teach agricultural youth to be future workers, professionals and leaders.
Yet, as USDA’s 2012 Census of Agriculture shows, the average age of U.S. farmers is 58.3 years old and steadily rising, and farms and companies face difficulty recruiting and retaining young talent. The companies that “win” in the race for employees will be those who allow our future, our youth, to step up. Read more here.

ADC: Enough is enough: Protect milk’s integrity

By American Dairy Coalition
As a dairy farmer, you know the hard work that goes into making that gallon of milk in the grocery story dairy case. Wholesome and nutritious, that gallon of milk represents the culmination of generations of hard work — expanding and growing the family business. Milk is what your life revolves around; milking the cows, working the fields, caring for the animals. So, as a member of the dairy industry, we take that word “milk” seriously. Read more here.

Farm Discovery Center ready for spotlight

By Jessie Cameron
MAA
After more than eight years of planning, fund raising and then, finally, building, the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center has come to life along Interstate 43 just outside of Manitowoc.
From the beginning, the center’s goal was simple: To help educate the 98 percent of people who do not work on farms to understand where their food comes from.
“So many people do not know what happens on a modern farm,” says Executive Director Lauren Rose Hofland. “They don’t really know where their food comes from or all of the sustainability initiatives farmers engage in. Farmers are now growing more food using less resources.” Read more here.

World Dairy Expo returns for 52nd year

By Tim Froberg
MAA
MADISON, Wis. — The World Dairy Expo is where the dairy industry connects and communicates.
Roughly 70,000 dairy enthusiasts, company representatives and industry leaders attend the event each year, and the 2018 Expo is expected to be bigger and better than ever. It is considered the world’s largest dairy-focused event and the trade show features exhibits from more than 800 companies across the world.
“It’s a place for people to network and get revitalized and energized about the (dairy) industry,” said Kristin Olson, WDE’s media relations manager. Read more here.

Feast & Famine in the ag industry

Feast: Anti-agriculture activists — folks who love to tell other people how to live their lives — have a problem. Now the people who claim to be protecting the planet are beating up on people who claim to be protecting animals.
Go figure.
The so-called “Friends of the Earth” recently issued a report slamming the environmental benefits of meat substitutes and lab-grown animal products.According to “Meating Place” magazine, the report claims plant-based or lab-grown products “are not yet proven to be safe or sustainable by regulators or third-party assessments. Read more here.

Supply management for U.S. dairy? We’ll pass

By Tim Trotter
Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative
Low milk prices. Widespread uncertainty. Vanishing equity.
Dairy farmers have had enough with the prolonged depression in the dairy economy. So much so that some are opening their ears to the clamor for a Canadian-style supply management system.
The willingness of U.S. farmers to even dream of what is being sold as a heavenly solution to the financial turmoil is understandable. For many, their livelihoods and legacies are at stake. But supply management is absolutely the wrong answer for our dairy community. Read more here.

Cranberries succeed with water, sand and soil

By Leah Call
MAA
It’s September. On the 21,000 acres of cranberry marshes in central and northern Wisconsin, the cranberries are changing from pale pink to a brilliant red as harvest season approaches. Harvest typically starts in late September and peaks in the second and third week of October.
Growing cranberries requires three natural resources: black peat soil, coarse sand and water. Wisconsin has an abundance of all three. Wisconsin’s 250 cranberry growers produced 5.7 million barrels of the fruit, which makes the state No. 1 in cranberry production in the United States and responsible for 60 percent of the world’s cranberries. Read more here.

Growers take lead in addressing water quality

By Tim Froberg
For MAA
Clean, safe drinking water is a must for every homeowner.
A local coalition is working to make sure residents in Wisconsin’s Central Sands area get that fundamental need.
The Armenia Growers Coalition – a newly formed group comprised of three large area farming operations – Wysocki Produce Farms, B&D Farms and Okray Farms – is spearheading efforts for a permanent solution to the water quality issues that have plagued affected property owners in Juneau and Wood counties. Read more here.

What can be labeled milk? FDA to decide

By Jessie Cameron
MAA
What’s milk? The Food and Drug Administration will soon decide – an option that dairy groups are excited about.
In July, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency will look at how the current “standard of identity” for milk is being interpreted. The FDA has hundreds of standards in place, which define what a product must contain to carry a specific label. The goal, the FDA said, is to define how products have to be made. Read more here.

Site selected for $470M Mich. processing plant

By MAA
ST. JOHNS, Mich. — Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Select Milk Producers Inc. (Select), selected the City of St. Johns as the preferred site for their new $470 million cheese and whey production facility.
The trio joined together for the joint venture to boost dairy production in Michigan. The new facility is slated to open in the later half of 2020 and will employ 250 workers. The plant will process 8 million pounds of milk per day into a range of cheese (300m lbs per year) and whey products for U.S. and international markets.
In addition, the partners reached an agreement with Proliant Dairy Ingredients to process the whey permeate. Proliant will invest $85 million in an adjoining facility, creating up to 38 jobs. Read more here.

Dairy Cares raises $1M for Children’s Hospital

Donors raise figures showing what Dairy Cares has raised for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin during the past eight years.

By MAA
After raising more than $1 million for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (CHW) over the last eight years, the simulation lab at the renowned medical center will be named in honor of the Dairy Cares organization.
The dairy community gathered for the annual Dairy Cares garden party on July 28 in De Pere, Wis., with the goal of supporting the Milwaukee-based hospital that provides medical services to all ages with 40 locations around the state. That dream became a reality as generous sponsors contributed $200,000 this year to bring the combined lifetime gift to $1,047,000. Read more here.

LaClare founder elected to American Cheese Society’s board of directors

By MAA
MALONE, Wis. — Larry Hedrich, co-founder of LaClare Family Creamery, has been elected to the American Cheese Society’s (ACS) board of directors.
A leading voice in the artisanal and goat-milk-cheesemaking field, Hedrich brings four decades of experience to the organization that supports and promotes farmstead and specialty cheeses produced in the Americas.
“I’m humbled by the opportunity to represent hard-working cheesemakers from across the country and North America,”said Hedrich. “Expanding our membership and focusing on long-term issues will be among my American Cheese Society priorities.” Read more here.

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

By MAA
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

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.

Farm Discovery Center plans grand opening

By MAA
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

By MAA
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

By MAA
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

By MAA
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
MAA
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

By MAA
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

Molly Fletcher

By MAA
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

By FVTC
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

Brody Stapel

By MAA
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
MAA
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
For MAA
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

By MAA
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

By MAA
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

By Laurie Fischer
For MAA
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.

Farm Technology Days annual Wis. tradition

Equipment demonstrations are one of the highlights of the annual Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, which will be held this year in Wood County.

By Leah Call
MAA
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

By MAA
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

By MAA
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

By MAA
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.

Co-ops team up to finance projects

By MAA
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

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.

By MAA
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.

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