Agriculture

Wisconsin hay shortage

A Door County farmer Is grateful to have survived a hay shortage in Wisconsin this winter. Wisconsin farmers had a hard time keeping hay bails dry in the fall due to flooding. This has caused a shortage in what is available for livestock feed this winter. Rich Olson owns Olson Family farms in Southern Door County and he says that he has seen other farmers struggle to find hay at a reasonable price. Olson was lucky enough to have enough hay both for himself and to sell to other local farmers.

 

 

Many Wisconsin farmers have had to go outside of Wisconsin for hay or pay a premium for it within the state.

Local farmers in maintenance mode while state numbers dwindle

By Paul Schmitt

 

The area crops harvested this past fall are a distant memory, but Door and Kewaunee farmers look for brighter days while maintaining their farmstead.  Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm in southern Door County explains how farmers stay busy this time of year.

 

 

Olson says it is challenging for small farms to prosper with the low prices of milk and other commodities.  According to state agricultural officials, 648 Wisconsin dairy farms have shut down in the first ten months this year.  The state lost 500 farms in 2017.

Washington Island apiary creating a buzz about Russian honeybees

Jennifer C. / CC

 

By Tim Kowols

 

An apiary on Washington Island will begin a research project next year that could have an impact on the local beekeeping industry. Sweet Mountain Farm owner Sue Dumpke began her apiary on Washington Island about 10 years ago. In that time, she has noticed the resiliency of her Russian bees to handle cold temperatures and their infatuation with local lavender fields. Now she has 75-180 colonies producing between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds of honey a year in addition to the 100 colonies she sells to Wisconsin beekeepers. With help from researchers from UW-River Falls, Dumpke hopes to see the health benefits of lavender for her Russian honeybees as it relates to weight gains, honey yields, and winter loss.

 

 

 

 

Dumpke says interns will help her keep track of the health of Russian honeybees for the research project over the next two years.

Sturgeon Bay teacher receives recognition for agricultural literacy work

By Connor Harbit

 

Ashley Vanden Bush, a third-grade teacher at St. John Bosco in Sturgeon Bay, has been awarded the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Teacher Award as part of their “Ag in the Classroom” program. Vanden Bush, who was unaware that she was going to be receiving the award, repeatedly demonstrated a focus in using agriculture resources in her lesson plans. She had also been active at volunteer and teacher trainings, and had even given a presentation at Ag in the Classroom’s national conference. Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Darlene Arneson said Vanden Bush has continually helped educate children about the importance of agriculture when it was not required of her to do so.

 

 

 

 

Vanden Bush will next be Wisconsin’s nominee for the National Excellence in Teaching Agriculture Award and will also receive a $500 scholarship toward attending the 2019 Ag in the Classroom conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, next June. Ag in the Classroom is an initiative from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau that seeks to work with existing curricula to further educate students K-12 on the role of agriculture within the economy and society.

Farm Technology Days committee announces scholarship program

By Tim Kowols

 

Three days in Algoma last year continue to have a positive impact in Kewaunee County after the Farm Technology Days committee announced its scholarship program. For at least the next 10 years, the Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days Scholarship Committee will award $6,000 in scholarships annually to students graduated from one of the area’s six area high schools enrolled in post-secondary education. Two months after committees reviewed 44 grant applications for organizational needs, FTD Executive Chairperson Amber Hewett says she is excited to help more community members.

 

 

The scholarship program is part of the $250,000 the FTD Committee will award for various causes thanks in part to last year’s successful event. Hewett says it will announce grant recipients at the end of December. You can learn more about the scholarship program and how to apply online with this story.

 

 

More exciting news from Farm Technology Days!

Posted by Kewaunee County UW-Extension Ag Program on Monday, November 26, 2018

Continued overproduction hurts family dairy farms in Door County and beyond

By Connor Harbit

 

DOOR COUNTY, WI (Connor Harbit) — A Door County farmer says that the ongoing milk crisis will continue as long as farmers produce more than they can successfully market. Although increasingly better feed, genetics and management have allowed for greater production, there has not been enough demand from consumers to move milk products. Rich Olson, owner of the Olson Family Farm in southern Door County, says that a lot of commodities are suffering from low demand.

 

 

The year long battle with milk prices has been costly to several family farms throughout Wisconsin, with Olson stating that 648 family dairy farms have stopped production completely around the state since January 1st.

Beef quality assurance certification requirements changing

 

By Aerica Bjurstrom, Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator

 

Some large meat packers and processors have announced that effective January 1, 2019, they will only purchase from farms that are Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) or FARM Certified. Most dairy farms are FARM certified through their milk processor. Ask your dairy plant representative for assistance to obtain a copy of your completed FARM evaluation, or a letter from them indicating your farm’s completion of FARM 3.0 or beyond.

 

The 2019 BQA requirement impacts those selling finished beef breeds and will affect all sale markets and private treaty transactions. Farmers should work with their marketing partners, or buyers if selling direct, to ensure correct documentation of BQA or FARM certification.

 

At this time, it is believed that beginning in January 2020, additional processors will begin to require BQA or FARM Certification from their suppliers.

 

Obtain free, online BQA certification at BQA.org. Each interactive course takes about two hours to complete, and requires an 80% score to pass the final test. You will receive your BQA certification via email, which you will provide at the point of sale.

 

UW-Extension is hosting an in-person BQA certification training on Thursday, December 13 at 6:30 PM at the Kewaunee County Fair Grounds, 625 3rd Street, Luxemburg. The cost of the training is $15. Please register by December 12 by calling 920-388-7141.

Algoma's Haack named Wisconsin State Fair Supreme Dairy Exhibitor

By Tim Kowols

 

Algoma’s Carmen Haack’s junior Wisconsin State Fair career officially came to a close earlier this week when she was named the event’s Supreme Dairy Exhibitor. The status is based on three different elements: showmanship, knowledge masters, and animal placement. It came down to Haack’s win in the knowledge masters contest to capture the title after taking third in showmanship and two of her animals took first place in their classes. Haack says the title of Supreme Dairy Exhibitor is humbling.

 

 

Haack, currently studying dairy science and agriculture business management at UW-Madison, says showmanship is her favorite of the three elements because it is based on how well you present your animal, not on the cow itself.

 

We know this awesome, smiling dairy woman featured on the WI 4-H Foundation page! Congratulations Carmen! As always, you make all of Kewaunee County 4-H so, so proud!

Posted by Kewaunee County 4-H, WI on Wednesday, November 14, 2018

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