WI couple wins National Outstanding Young Farmers Award

By MAA
Sam and Jenn Zimmerman from Ringle, Wis., received a National Outstanding Young Farmer Award.
The Zimmermans operate On-Q Holsteins, where they raise 164 milking cows and 180 Holstein heifers on 450 acres. The use of genetic testing, embryo transfer, in-vitro fertilization and the use of sexed semen, have allowed them to isolate the “elites” in their herd and grow the genetics very quickly. This has produced cows scoring excellent, a recent Dam of Merit, 2016 progressive genetics award winner from the Holstein Association and five embryos being exported to France.
The other three national winners were: Robby and Stephanie Bevis from Arkansas, Ian and Val Plagge from Iowa and Nick and Sunny Cummings from Ohio.

Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center on track for July opening

By CJ Krueger
MAA

MANITOWOC, Wis. — After eight years of planning and dreaming, the vision set forth by a committed board of directors, staff and volunteers will become a reality when the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center (Farm Wisconsin) opens its doors this summer.

Melissa Bender, director of education and programming for Farm Wisconsin, said the state-of-the-art interactive center located south of Manitowoc will open July 28.

“Farm Wisconsin is a unique opportunity (for visitors) to learn about Wisconsin’s rich farm history,” she said. Continue reading “Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center on track for July opening”

Wausau sewage dump shows media, environmentalists have it out for farmers

Courtesy of WSAU TV 

By Dan Ellsworth
Wisconsin Water Alliance President

On Jan. 23, the City of Wausau piped 3.7 million gallons of raw, untreated human feces and waste directly into the Wisconsin River. Was this by accident? No. It was by design, as the waste was routed directly to the river by the city’s sewerage system after a pipe leading to the wastewater treatment plant was plugged. Everything worked according to plan. As city officials alluded to afterward, the waters of the Wisconsin River actually were the perfect solution to the problem, as opposed to allowing sewage to back up into some Wausau homes. Continue reading “Wausau sewage dump shows media, environmentalists have it out for farmers”

Midwest Rural Energy Conference set for next week

By MAA
The 56th annual Midwest Rural Energy Conference will take place in La Crosse, Wis., on Feb. 15-16.
The Midwest Rural Energy Council hosts the conference to provide education and research on rural energy issues to benefit farmers and other rural energy consumers, suppliers, organizations and agricultural trade associations, electrical equipment and allied industries  and government regulatory agencies. Continue reading “Midwest Rural Energy Conference set for next week”

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”

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”

Perdue applauds USDA’s 2017 accomplishments

By USDA
WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue applauded the accomplishments made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the past year. In the first year of the Trump Administration, USDA made breakthroughs in agricultural trade, moved to reduce burdensome regulations, responded to natural disasters, and battled through the worst fire season on record, among other notable achievements.

“As 2017 comes to an end, the hard-working civil servants who make up USDA have a great deal to be proud of,” said Perdue. “Unlike any other federal department, USDA touches the lives of each individual in this country every day. In the wake of hurricanes, forest fires, and everything in between, the dedicated professionals at USDA worked tirelessly to serve the American people. As we look ahead to 2018, USDA will continue our efforts to be the most effective, efficient, and customer focused department in the entire federal government.” Continue reading “Perdue applauds USDA’s 2017 accomplishments”

Feast & Famine in the ag industry — December 2017

By MAA

FAMINE: In the state of Wisconsin, no other industry gets close to the $44 billion annually generated by the dairy industry.

According to the University of Wisconsin, the business of milk has more impact in the state than the citrus industry does to Florida or the potato sector does to Idaho.

So when the head of the state’s largest business lobby — Kurt Bauer of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce — recently floated the idea of removing “America’s Dairyland” from Wisconsin license plates, one can justifiably question whether he’s lost the credibility to lead the organization. Continue reading “Feast & Famine in the ag industry — December 2017”

Column: No, I don’t want the organic version

By Carlie Ostrom
For MAA

It’s rare to walk into an urban restaurant or market without being bombarded by signs touting cage-free eggs, pasture-raised beef, or GMO-free wheat. I didn’t always run into “foodie” culture, however. I grew up in Wisconsin, where I spent my summers showing cattle and giving tours of my family’s dairy farms.

Since my departure from home for college two years ago, I’ve lived in Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco. I must admit, it’s still shocking to see how adamant my new urban peers are about food standards considering their lack of connection to the agricultural world. People genuinely believe that their food is better for them and better for the world if its production methods are old-fashioned. I’m going to deconstruct this view: If we’re looking at it from a consequentialist standpoint, modern farming is actually better for everyone  —  farmers, consumers, animals  and the Earth. Continue reading “Column: No, I don’t want the organic version”

How to get your poinsettia to rebloom

By Michigan State University Extension

Having a poinsettia plant during the holidays is a tradition for many people, and some often wonder if it’s possible to get the plant to bloom again for next year. It is possible, but it just doesn’t happen if the plant is indoors. Poinsettias require very specific light conditions to allow the plant to make flowers again. This requires some management to get it to bloom for the holidays. Continue reading “How to get your poinsettia to rebloom”