Farm Technology Days looks to honor longtime attendees

WOOD COUNTY, Wis. — Wisconsin Farm Technology Days will be celebrating its 65th anniversary this year by recognizing people who have been to the most number of shows in the past. Committee members in Wood County, which is hosting the event July 10-12, 2018, will honor those individuals with a plaque during the opening ceremonies of the show in Tent City.

Awards will be given in two categories: General Public and Exhibitors/Media. Anyone who has been to at least 35 shows will be considered for recognition.

An application with a list of all the previous show dates can be found at Entries are due on June 30.

Farm Technology Days will be held at D&B Sternweis Farms and Weber’s Farm Store/Heiman Holsteins, just west of Marshfield.

For more information, call 715-486-5226.

UW-River Falls student to help lead Ag Future of America

RIVER FALLS, Wis. — University of Wisconsin-River Falls junior Jared Retzlaff is one of only 10 students from across the nation selected to serve on the Student Advisory Team for Agriculture Future of America (AFA). AFA is a leadership and professional development organization for college students and young professionals.

Retzlaff, of Omro, is studying agricultural marketing communications and is active in the Agricultural and Business Marketing Society (ABMS) and Collegiate Farm Bureau. He served as the campus ambassador for AFA last year before being selected through a competitive application process to represent his peers at the national level on the advisory team.

A major component of the Student Advisory Team responsibilities is the planning and delivery of the 2018 AFA Leaders Conference to be held in November in Kansas City, Mo. More than 800 delegates from across the nation will be selected to attend.

Yahara Pride Farms builds on success

Keith Ripp, assistant deputy secretary at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, spoke at the annual Yahara Pride meeting in DeForest, Wis.

DEFOREST, Wis. — More than 125 farmers, community members and agribusiness professionals came together recently to celebrate conservation accomplishments and future projects.
“Building on success” formed the core of the Yahara Pride Farms Watershed-wide Conference on March 7.
​Yahara Pride Farms (YPF) is a farmer-led non-profit organization working to improve soil and water quality. The group strives to help advance new ideas and technology that balance water quality improvement with farm sustainability and profitability.  Continue reading “Yahara Pride Farms builds on success”

Growing tried and true talent in the ag sector

Fox Valley Technical College agriculture instructor Kevin Rauchholz shares insight with his students on farm animal health during one of his classes at the college in Appleton, Wis.

By Kevin Rauchholz

Tugging heavy books. Cramming overnight. Running on a lightning-fast career pathway. Balancing work, family, and school. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? These are just a smidgeon of the demands confronting today’s busy college students.

For students in Fox Valley Technical College’s (FVTC) agriculture programs, reaching the end of the higher education grind comes with a few checks and balances. Those checkpoints of success often include robust internship experiences and hands-on field activities, which in turn contribute immensely to the college’s impressive graduate employment rates year in and year out. Continue reading “Growing tried and true talent in the ag sector”

Feast & Famine in the ag industry

FEAST: At a time when consumers are more disconnected from the food chain than ever before, researchers from three prominent universities are confirming what many farmers already know: Transparency matters.

After personally visiting a farm, 95 percent of consumers leave with a “positive” or “very positive” impression about animal housing; and 91 percent to 96 percent have “high” or “very high” trust that the dairy farmers will do the right things with regard to caring for the animals, noted a team from Michigan State University, Ohio State University and the University of Vermont. Continue reading “Feast & Famine in the ag industry”

Be safe on the roads this planting season

By Purdue University Extension
With planting season getting underway in the next month or two throughout the Midwest, a Purdue Extension agricultural safety and health specialist is urging motorists and farmers alike to use caution when traveling on rural roadways.

“There is a shared responsibility for making sure our roadways remain safe,” said Bill Field, professor of agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue University Extension. “There are certain times of year when farm vehicles will be more prevalent, such as spring planting and fall harvest, and motorists need to recognize that and exercise patience.” Continue reading “Be safe on the roads this planting season”

Honoring the land

Dairy earns conservation award

“We abuse land because we regard it as a
commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
-Aldo Leopold,
Foreword, A Sand
County Almanac

Brickstead Dairy in Greenleaf, Wis., received the Aldo Leopold Conservation Award.

By Leah Call
After more than a decade of implementing conservation efforts at Brickstead Dairy in Greenleaf, Wis., fifth-generation farm owner Dan Brick feels optimistic about the land he will someday pass on to his three sons.

“I know my kids are going to have a tough time taking over the farm—hopefully we kind of turned the ship around, improving things going forward,” Brick said. “I can say I gave it my best effort to give my kids the opportunity to farm.”

Last December, Brick’s efforts were recognized when he received the Aldo Leopold Conservation Award, founded by the Sand County Foundation and presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association.

The award, bearing the name of famed conservationist Aldo Leopold, recognizes farmers throughout the United States for private land stewardship and outstanding conservation practices. Continue reading “Honoring the land”

Getting to the truth about eggs

Eggs are receiving more attention than ever before. Whether it’s a question about nutritional value or the living conditions of chickens, consumers are looking for answers. Midwest Agriculture Almanac took some common questions to egg experts – they do exist – to find the answers.

Why do some eggs have different shell colors? There is no discernable nutritional difference between eggs with white shells and eggs with brown shells. Brown eggs tend to have more omega-3 fatty acids, but the difference is miniscule. There’s also no difference in yolk or taste.

Continue reading “Getting to the truth about eggs”

New research IDs food, ag trust gaps

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – While food companies, federal regulatory agencies and farmers are held responsible for ensuring the health and safety of food, not all are trusted to get the job done, according to new research from The Center for Food Integrity (CFI). The findings illustrate a dangerous trust deficit that breeds increased public skepticism and highlights the need for increased consumer engagement by the food system.

“If you’re held responsible and trusted for ensuring safe and healthy food, you are seen as a credible source,” said Charlie Arnot, CEO of CFI. “However, if you’re held responsible but not trusted, that’s a dangerous disconnect that can’t be ignored.” Continue reading “New research IDs food, ag trust gaps”

WI couple wins National Outstanding Young Farmers Award

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.