Top dairy cooperative rebrands to give farmers an Edge

By MAA
GREEN BAY, Wis.   — Milk is getting a new voice in America’s Heartland. Meet Edge, the dairy farmer cooperative taking a fresh approach to representing its members.

Edge, formerly known as the Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, has been a game-changer for dairy farmers since its inception in 2010.

“Edge is now representative of the growth and evolution our cooperative has undergone over the past seven years. It’s also a promise of the future,” said John Pagel, a Wisconsin dairy farmer and president of Edge. “We put our members at the forefront of the discussions, giving dairy farmers a voice in matters critical to their businesses and their communities.”

Continue reading “Top dairy cooperative rebrands to give farmers an Edge”

DBA wins settlement in DNR lawsuit

By MAA 

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Dairy Business Association secured a settlement in its lawsuit against the state Department of Natural Resources for legal overreach on regulations.

The settlement, reached Wednesday between the association and DNR, will bring immediate relief for dairy farmers facing uncertainty and costly changes, and will provide assurance that the DNR will create future rules only according to the law.

The dairy group prevailed on the central claims of the suit — that the DNR illegally changed rules for how farmers manage rainwater that comes into contact with feed storage and calf hutch areas.

More broadly, the settlement reaffirms the significance of Act 21, a 2011 state law that requires agencies to follow a specific method of rulemaking.

“More than anything, this is a victory for the rule of law,” said Mike North, president of the Dairy Business Association (DBA), a nonprofit that represents hundreds of dairy farmers and other related businesses across Wisconsin. Continue reading “DBA wins settlement in DNR lawsuit”

DBA president rejects call to remove “Dairyland” from WI license plate

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Mike North, president of the Dairy Business Association, rejected a suggestion today by the president of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce that the state consider removing the slogan, “America’s Dairyland,” from state license plates.

“Considering the dairy community’s continuing contribution to the culture and economy of our state, it would be disheartening to make such a change after nearly 80 years,” North said. “We are talking about a $43.4 billion impact on the Wisconsin economy and tens of thousands of jobs. There are few single products in this state that provide more of an economic boost.”

On Monday, WMC Executive Director Kurt Bauer said the state should consider dropping the motto, which has been on the state’s license plates since 1940. He said residents should reimagine their identities for the 21st century and that “Forward” would be a better motto. Continue reading “DBA president rejects call to remove “Dairyland” from WI license plate”

Farmers can attend Dairy Strong for free if registered by Nov. 1

Dairy farmers who register for the fourth annual Dairy Strong Conference  by Nov. 1 will receive two free tickets..
Hundreds of dairy farmers and industry professionals are expected to attend Dairy Strong, an exciting conference and trade show, will be held  Jan. 17-18 at the Monona Terrace in Madison. 
Registration is now open  at dairystrong.org. To receive your two complimentary registrations, you must register prior to Nov. 1. After that date, dairies can attend for $150 for two days or $99 for one day.
Highlights of this year’s event include:
Inspiring keynotes – Dairy Strong provides farmers and dairy professionals with the opportunity to hear from renowned national speakers. This year, Bud Selig will serve as the opening keynote for Dairy Strong. He is the former commissioner of Major League Baseball, the former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers and a Milwaukee native. During his tenure, Selig navigated numerous controversies in baseball and will call on his leadership experience to draw parallels to challenges in the dairy community.
 Valuable connections – None of us got to where we are without relationships. Dairy Strong is where farmers, corporate professionals and representatives from government agencies and universities come together with a united mission to move dairy forward. Attendees will also have the chance to network with the nation’s leading suppliers on the trade show floor in a relaxed setting. Dairy Strong is an inclusive environment where farms of all sizes and management philosophies connect with each other and the dairy community.
Practical sessions – Time off the farm is hard to come by and the schedule for January’s event will be a great use of time.  There will be innovative and practical sessions to help farmers improve their dairies, as well as panels focusing on issues related to dairy market access, economics and trade. Enjoy a few days off the farm and return with new ideas and a fresh perspective.
Hosted by the Dairy Business Association, Dairy Strong is an event for the entire dairy community. Farmers representing farms of all sizes and management philosophies are encouraged to attend the event held each January.

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.

Continue reading “DBA suing DNR, claims authority overrreach”

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.

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!”

Continue reading “Different cheese flavors identified, named”

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 “

Dairy farms play key role in Kewaunee County’s economy

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

A host of factors play into whether a community is considered healthy.
Things like access to and quality of medical care, the environment, the economy and quality and length of life. Kewaunee County continues to rank among the healthiest in Wisconsin, most recently second in annual state health rankings.
In the economic area, the county’s agricultural community is vital. Agriculture accounts for more than $80 million in economic activity each year. Of that, an estimated $65 million is driven by dairy farming, said Jim Smidel, a member of the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corp.’s board of directors.

Continue reading “Dairy farms play key role in Kewaunee County’s economy”