Agriculture Archives for 2016-11

The University Of Wisconsin-Extension Has Two Educational Opportunities Coming Up In December

By Aerica Bjurstrom

The University of Wisconsin-Extension has two educational opportunities coming up in December.

On Thursday, December 1, UW-Extension has partnered with UW-Oshkosh for an Anaerobic Digesters/Biogas Systems Tour. UW-Oshkosh and partners have constructed the nation's first commercial-scale dry fermentation anaerobic biogas system on campus, and two biogas systems at local dairy farms. This one-day tour gives dairy industry members a behind-the-scenes tour of these three different biogas systems in Eastern Wisconsin. Contact Scott Gunderson with Manitowoc County Extension at 920-683-4175 for more information.

Tuesday, December 6 brings a seminar on Raising Quality Calves to Liberty Hall in Kimberly. This seminar will focus on feeding calves with automated feeders for labor reduction. University Extension specialists will share how to design automated calf barns, and the key factors associated with the successful use of automated feeders. Information on calf nutrition and implementation of the Veterinary Feed Directive will also be discussed. Contact Tina Kohlman at 920-929-3171 for more information.

Information can also be found on our website at


Area Farmers Preparing For Winter

By David Meyer

Just because you may not see Door and Kewaunee County farmers working in their fields does not mean winter is not a busy time of year.  As soon as the fall harvest ends farmers change their attention to making sure their animals will have a safe and productive winter.  Jim Wautier of Church-Site Farm in Brussels describes what that looks like on his farm.



Wautier adds that this year's harvest was a successful one despite the rain being a hurdle at times.  He also reports that milk prices are slowly starting to increase as we head into the winter months.


Christmas Trees Still Need Help After Successful Growing Season

By Tim Kowols

Families heading out to tree lots and farms this weekend to resume their holiday traditions will find a good harvest awaiting them. More than adequate moisture and sunshine in the late summer and early fall months helped area Christmas tree farmers have an exceptional crop this year. Ron Tillmann from Tillmann Trees recommends consumers keep a close eye on their trees so they keep their green through the season.


Tillmann Trees will also be one of several farms in the area donating trees to local active military personnel. According to the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association, over 1.8 million trees are harvested in the state while producing an economic impact of $50 million.


Land And Water Conservation Committee Members Differ On Potential Kewaunee County Biodigester

By Tim Kowols

Members of Kewaunee County's Land and Water Conservation committee have differing views on a plan that could lead to more manure digesters in the area. Governor Scott Walker announced last week his direction of the state's Department of Natural Resources, Public Service Commission, and Department of Trade and Consumer Protection to make recommendations and request for proposals for the technology. Committee chairperson John Pagel has a digester on his farm, converting manure into cow bedding, fertilizer, and enough electricity to power Kewaunee and Casco. He was encouraged by the news following Gov. Walker's announcement.



Fellow committee member Lee Luft says more research on the technology and its impact on the area should be done so Kewaunee County can avoid a similar situation currently dividing a Colorado community.



A Request for Proposal is set to be sent in January for the public/private partnership that could cost between $10 and $20 million.


State To Request Proposals For Digester Technology

By Tim Kowols

Governor Scott Walker announced Thursday that he has requested the Department of Natural Resources, the Public Service Commission, and the Department of Trade and Consumer Protection to work together on bringing manure digester technology to Kewaunee County. Standing inside a historic barn at the Heritage Farm Site in Kewaunee, Gov. Walker said the departments will work on recommendations for a private sector response to building manure digesters in environmentally sensitive areas before publically sending out a Request for Proposal in January. Gov. Walker called the news important progress towards addressing nutrient management and water quality in the region.

Costs for the project will depend on the Request for Proposal, but preliminary estimates from the PSC has it at $10-20 million. The PSC voted last month to include digester technology, rural broadband updates, and other renewable energy projects in its Focus on Energy programs moving forward.





Kewaunee County 4-H Award Winners

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By David Meyer

Two area high school students have earned a prestigious 4-H award.  Kayla Bosman of Luxemburg and Torie Benzshawel of Casco took home the 2016 Key Awards at the Kewaunee County 4-H banquet.  Jill Jorgensen, Kewaunee County 4-H Youth Development Educator details all the characteristics displayed by these two leaders.



Bosman and Benzshawel have each been involved in 4-H since they were in elementary school.  To win the Key Award a student is required to have been in 4-H for three years.  They must also serve as a youth leader for at least one year prior to being eligible.


Planning Not Planting The First Step In A Farmer's Succession Plan

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By Paul Schmitt

Starting an initial conversation at home about turning over a family farm to the next generation is a good first step in a farmer's succession plan.  Attorney Stacy Vogeltanz of Ross Estate Planning says a farm should be treated like a business.



Vogeltanz says farmers need to evaluate if the farm is going to be inherited or sold to one child or more than one of their children.  The two biggest concerns Vogeltanz hears are that people do not know where to start and how to treat all their children fairly.  For the complete interview with Stacy Vogeltanz on Farm Succession, go to the links below:





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