News

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.

Changing cow care in hot weather

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

It is summer in the Midwest and that means hot and humid weather. Unfortunately, dairy cows do not like the heat and see their production and health decline.
The Missouri Dairy Industry Alliance (MDIA) and the University of Missouri-Extension recently held a field day to educate nearly 100 farmers on how they can make their cows more comfortable in hot weather and improve their overall health.
“Dairy cows are very vulnerable to heat stress,” said Reagan Bluel, an Extension dairy specialist. “In addition to lost milk in the lactating herd, recently released research from Florida shows that heat stress during the last 42 days of the dry period causes changes to the unborn calf with lasting impact. During parturition, the calf of a heat stressed dam is more likely to be delivered stillborn. Additionally, she is born about 10 pounds lighter and is more likely to be culled during the first year of life.”

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Planning for potential business disasters vital

By Dave Coggins
For MAA
Recent news showcased how more than 50 dairy farms were nearly devastated by the Canadian trade policies that forced Grassland Dairy Products to drop them as patrons. While that roller-coaster experience has ended with nearly all of the affected farms finding new processors, it should serve as a wake-up call for every farm owner to plan for the unthinkable.
Most farmers are well-equipped in terms of insuring their business against potential acts of nature. But many are not so prepared for other types of disasters that warrant having a “Plan B” if they want their business to survive.
While it’s human nature to want to avoid the unthinkable, planning for all types of disasters is a crucial part of farming operations.

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LaClare grabs spotlight for its goat yogurts

By MAA

MALONE, Wis — LaClare Farms, which helped bring goat cheese to the culinary forefront with a win at the 2011 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, is at it again.

This time, though, it grabbed the spotlight in a whole new category: Goat yogurts.

The 700-goat farm swept that category at this year’s competition, capturing first, second, third and fourth places with its vanilla, blueberry, original and strawberry flavors, respectively.

“Our yogurt maker, George Roehrig, a 39-year industry veteran, has spent over two years, and dozens of trial batches, developing and creating the perfect recipe,” said cheesemaker Katie Fuhrmann.

“We thought our yogurt was pretty great but this contest validated it.”

The competition, hosted in March at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, brings together preeminent dairy processors from around the globe.

“The ‘secret’ is great milk,” Fuhrmann said. “Same goes for our yogurt as our cheese. It can only be as great as the milk we start with. It all starts on the farm and we do our best to show off the excellent quality goat milk we get to work with. Or, as I always say to people, my job is to not screw up the fantastic milk I start with.”

Different cheese flavors identified, named

 

By CJ Krueger
MAA

Kay Thomas spends a lot of time reading labels in the grocery store, especially in the specialty cheese display.

“For a long time, I was hesitant to purchase goat cheese because as a child I remember it being so strong tasting. But as I started reading the descriptions on the labels, I became more curious and decided to give it another try,” the Oshkosh woman said while looking at the different cheeses at the LaClare Family Creamery store in Malone, Wis.

“I can’t believe how much has changed over the years. There are so many flavors!”

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Defining flavor: Lexicon develops to define goat cheese taste 

By CJ Krueger
MAA
Kay Thomas spends a lot of time reading labels in the grocery store, especially in the specialty cheese display.
“For a long time, I was hesitant to purchase goat cheese because as a child I remember it being so strong tasting. But as I started reading the descriptions on the labels, I became more curious and decided to give it another try,” the Oshkosh woman said while looking at the different cheeses at the LaClare Family Creamery store in Malone, Wis.
“I can’t believe how much has changed over the years. There are so many flavors!”
Many consumers with a limited exposure to goat cheese often describe the product as tasting “goaty,” or having a strong taste. But as the dairy goat industry has evolved, so has the flavor and
Continue reading “Defining flavor: Lexicon develops to define goat cheese taste “