Demonstration network focuses on farm sustainability

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

Farmers in Kewaunee and southern Door counties are teaming up with multiple partners to study and demonstrate conservation practices to protect groundwater and surface water in the region.

The Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farm Network is a partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Door and Kewaunee Land Conservation Departments and Peninsula Pride Farms, a farmer-led organization. The network was officially launched with a Sept. 7 field day at the Deer-Run Dairy LLC near Kewaunee, one of four farms participating in the network. The other participants include: Augustian Farms LLC in Kewaunee, Brey Cycle Farm LLC in Sturgeon Bay and Kinnard Farms in Casco.

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Proposed manure rule change worries farmers

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

If the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources restricts manure application in certain regions of the state, farmer Rob Kiehneau is afraid his small Door County dairy will close.

Kiehneau, who milks between 60 and 70 cows and grows crop at his Egg Harbor farm, said about 75 percent of his farm rests on land with less than 2 feet of soil to bedrock. Under proposed changes to NR 151, farms with less than 2 feet of soil to bedrock would not be able to spread manure.

“We feel we do a good job with our applications. This rule change would make it hard for us to operate in our present location,” Kiehneau said during a hearing Friday on the proposed rule change at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. An estimated 30 people spoke at the hearing, which was simulcast in Madison.

The DNR announced the proposed changes to manure spreading rules in certain parts of Wisconsin to address decades-old groundwater quality issues in areas with Karst topography. Karst topography features shallow soils over heavily fractured limestone bedrock, which makes it easier for water and livestock waste from the surface and human waste from aging septic systems to enter the groundwater.

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Dairy Care founders Ostroms to receive fundraiser award

The Association of Professional Fundraisers will honor Jim and Annette Ostrom of De Pere, Wis., on behalf of Dairy Cares of Wisconsin, with the 2017 Wisconsin “Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award” for their efforts supporting Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

The Ostroms will receive the honor on National Philanthropy Day, Nov. 15, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

Seven years ago, the Ostroms were among the founding members of Dairy Cares of Wisconsin, a non-profit organization that has since raised $847,000 on behalf of children and families facing medical crises. The group unites professionals from across the dairy and agricultural fields for an annual summer garden party to benefit the cause.

In 2017, Dairy Cares expanded its efforts by hosting the inaugural “Kickin’ It with the Cows” 5K/10K Run/Walk in De Pere. Initially hoping to attract 300 runners, the July 8 event drew more than four times that many participants.

“Annette and I are humbled to accept this on behalf of an amazing team of volunteers,” said Jim Ostrom, adding that about 50 individuals serve on Dairy Cares’ organizing committees. “While we are happy to do our part for a great cause, our fund-raising successes have stemmed from the fact that many people are committing time and energy to help others.”

DBA suing DNR, claims authority overrreach

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

A Dairy Business Association lawsuit seeks to stop the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from overreaching its legal authority on key regulations.
The dairy group filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the DNR centering on how the agency implements new regulations without going through an approval process required by state law.
The lawsuit deals specifically with one example of this pattern of unlawful behavior: changes to how farmers manage rainwater that comes into contact with feed storage or calf hutch areas. Those changes, in which the DNR abruptly abandoned its own earlier directives, are causing costly fixes and still more uncertainty for farmers, said DBA President Mike North.

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Dairy Cares raises $207,000 for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

By MAA
Dairy Cares raised $207,000 for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, including $15,000 from its first-ever Kickin’ it With the Cows run/walk.
Over the past seven years, the organization has raised $847,000 for Children’s Hospital.
A group of dairy industry professionals and dairy farmers came together in 2011 to form Dairy Cares as a way for the industry to give back. Dairy Cares chose Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, which provides care to seriously ill children and support to their families, as the recipient of the funds raised.
Dairy Cares annually holds a garden party to raise funds for the hospital and this year added Kickin’ it With the Cows, which turned out to be a huge success.
Learn more about Dairy Cares of Wisconsin by clicking here.