By CJ Krueger
ALGOMA, Wis. – Kewaunee County hit a home run in mid-July with its first turn as host for Farm Technology Days.
Held at Ebert Enterprises near Algoma – just two miles from the shore of Lake Michigan – the event brought more visitors to the 60-acre Tent City than the county’s population of more than 20,400 citizens over its three-day run, said Kristy Pagel, FTD publicity chair.
“We were excited to learn the first day of the show attracted more than 10,000 visitors, the highest attendance on day one in several years,” she said. 
Farm Technology Days is designed to showcase the latest improvements in production agriculture, including many practical applications of recent research.
Hosts Randy and Renee Ebert and their family were eager to open their fifth-generation farm to the public and give folks a glimpse at not only the latest in farm technology, but also to shine a spotlight on the many ag-related enterprises within the boundaries of the county.

DARLINGTON, Wis.  — The newly formed Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance will host its first field day on Aug. 29 at Highway Dairy LLC. The featured practices are tailored to farms in Lafayette County, but are applicable to farms across the state with similar conservation goals.
The Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance (LASA) is a farmer-led, nonprofit organization committed to faithful and sustainable stewardship of our natural resources. Through innovation and collaboration, LASA identifies, shares and promotes conservation practices that demonstrate continuous improvement and preserve and enhance the quality of life in the community.
Lafayette County faces issues with karst topography which creates concern for ground water quality. LASA recognizes that we have three main responsibilities in Lafayette County – protecting the natural resources, helping the public understand general farming practices and empowering members to improve farming techniques. These goals can be achieved through open communication and a willingness to share knowledge and research while being open-minded to new practices on our farms.
“We are excited to host a field day showcasing conservation farming techniques that reduce runoff and improve soil health,” said LASA chairman Jim Winn. “Helping the farmers of Lafayette County improve best management practices is one of our core principles.”
Farmers from Lafayette County are encouraged to attend this event, but farmers from neighboring counties are also welcome. The event is free thanks to the support of The Nature Conservancy, Professional Dairy Producers Foundation, La Crosse Seeds and Sloan Implement. 
Go to lafayetteagstewardship.org for the day's complete schedule.

BROOKLYN, Wis – Farmers in the Yahara River watershed dramatically reduced phosphorus delivery in 2016, according to the Yahara Pride Farms (YPF) 2016 annual report.
The report documents information and research on the reductions in phosphorus delivered to nearby surface waters by farmers in 2016. YPF has measured on-farm results for four years, but this is the first year an annual report has been compiled to share program outcomes with the public.
Aided in part by cost-share dollars, farmers have made changes to their farming practices since Yahara Pride was founded in 2012 that prevented more that 27,000 pounds of documented phosphorus remaining on the land and thus not entering surface water. YPF is a farmer-led 501c(3) non-profit organization that strives to preserve agricultural heritage while simultaneously encouraging farmers to engage in proactive environmental stewardship within the Yahara Watershed.

PictureMike North
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.
“We’re not looking for a free pass on regulations. We’re asking the DNR to follow the rules,” he said. “The agency clearly is overstepping its legal boundaries on this and other issues. We met with the DNR many times and were not getting anywhere. We turned to litigation as a last resort."

With the consumer market for pork and other protein sources rapidly changing, the Pork Checkoff is putting the finishing touches on a plan to reposition pork marketing.
“The Pork Checkoff has embarked on a journey to determine how best to market pork today,” said Terry O’Neel, a pork producer from Friend, Neb., and president of the National Pork Board. “The direction may be drastically different than we’ve seen in the last quarter century.”  
The big changes that require a new marketing plan, the National Pork Board’s chief executive officer Bill Even said, are driven by what he called “the three M’s”:
Millennials: America’s largest generation has increasing buying power and makes buying decisions differently than its predecessor generations.
Mobile: The speed of communication and access to information fuels demand, requiring constant attention to new means of communication.
Multicultural: Currently 36 percent of the U.S. population, the newest arrivals to the U.S. and their families will make up 50 percent of the population by 2050.

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.
In the above photo, Dairy Cares presents a check for $207,000 to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin at its annual garden party. From left to right: Deric DuQuaine, Dairy Cares; Jim and Annette Ostrom, Dairy Cares; Dr. Michael Meyer, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; Laurie Fischer, Dairy Cares; Meg Brzyski Nelson, Children’s Hospital Foundation; Julie DuQuaine, Dairy Cares.
Learn more about Dairy Cares of Wisconsin by clicking here.

After seven years of serving as agriculture secretary under Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Ben Brancel will step down next month.
In a letter released by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DACTP) Brancel said he gave much thought to when it would be the right time to retire. 
"I came to the conclusion that there always will be unfinished business to be done, but now is the time to return to my family's farm full-time in Marquette County as we plan for our first ever production sale," said Brancel in the letter. "My son and daughter-in-law are now the sixth generation to farm the land. My first job was a farmer, and my last job will be a farmer." 
His last day on the job will be Aug. 13.
Brancel also served as ag secretary under former Gov. Tommy Thompson. Walker praised Brancel for his service to the state.
“Ben has served with distinction as a state representative and speaker of the State Assembly, as DATCP secretary under both our administration and Governor Tommy Thompson’s administration, and as a leader of a number of agricultural organizations in our state," Walker said in a statement. "His leadership and counsel on agriculture and trade issues have been invaluable to me, and I thank him for his service and dedication to the people of Wisconsin. We wish Ben and his wife, Gail, all the very best as they begin this new and exciting chapter

LANSING, Mich. — Lots of “dairy” fun takes place July 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Great Dairy Adventure held at the at the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock. This event is geared to families, daycare centers, summer camps and anyone who wants to learn more about dairy farming and sample free ice cream and other dairy products.
Attendees will have a chance to try milking a cow, create a variety of craft projects, experiment with dairy recipes, pet baby calves and learn about the steps milk takes on its journey from cow to grocery store to family table. There will be samples of dairy foods, giveaways, and hands-on activities teaching the nutritional benefits of dairy foods. MSU student athletes will also be on hand for autographs.
“The Great Dairy Adventure is a fun and family-friendly activity for people of all ages,” said Sharon Toth, CEO of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. “Michigan’s dairy farmers are committed to sharing their love of dairy and answering questions about where milk comes from.”
Attendees will learn about the steps milk takes on its journey from cow to grocery store, and have a chance to ask dairy industry experts questions about how milk is produced and processed into several types of dairy products. There will be samples of milk, ice cream and cheese.
After learning how cows are cared for and how the milk gets from the farm to you, join everyone for a Fun Run! Dairy is part of a healthy diet, and being active for 60 minutes each day is important for our overall health. Fun Runs take place at the top of each hour from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sparty will join the run scheduled for 11 a.m.
The Great Dairy Adventure is part of the annual Michigan Dairy Expo, which takes place July 17-21. Students from 4-H clubs and FFA chapters across the state take part in educational skills contests during the week, and hundreds of cows will be exhibited by their owners in various breed shows.
The Great Dairy Adventure is a collaborative program of Michigan State University Extension, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, the MSU Department of Animal Science, the MSU College of Veterinary MedicineMichigan Farm Bureau, dairy farm families and other dairy partners. 

Lakeshore Technical College will bring its ag programming to the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center in Manitowoc County early next year.
The Cleveland-based technical college is partnering with the center to provide new space for students in the school’s Dairy Herd Management and Agribusiness and Technology programs.
Lakeshore plans to move into the new facility, north of the college off Interstate 43, in January. The $13 million center will include a discovery center featuring hands-on learning opportunities through displays about agriculture and a chance to tour Grotegut Dairy Farm, which focuses on sustainability and best farming practices, milking more than 2,000 cows three times a day.
A highlight for visitors likely will be a chance to view the birth of calves from Grotegut Farm in the center’s Land O’ Lakes Birthing Barn.
The tech school will have a building adjacent to the agriculture center, which is expected to open next spring.
The dairy industry contributes $43.4 billion to Wisconsin’s economy each year, according to state officials. Each dairy cow in the state typically generates about $34,000 in economic activity.
MADISON, WIS. – World Dairy Expo is now accepting entries for the 2017 Dairy Cattle Show, which will be held Oct. 3-7 in Madison.
Online and paper entry forms are due Aug. 31 at 11:59 p.m. (CST). Late entries may be submitted online through Sept. 10, 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 USDA AIN or Canadian CCIA RFID 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 USDA AIN numbers, 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.
Entry forms, the schedule of events, rules and other updates can also be found in the Premium Book – mailed to recent dairy cattle exhibitors on July 1, or available online at www.worlddairyexpo.com
For over five decades, the global dairy industry has been meeting in Madison for the World Dairy Expo. Crowds of nearly 75,000 people from more than 100 countries attended the 2016 event.