Agriculture Archives for 2018-06

Milk prices staying low

By Paul Schmitt    

Area farmers are looking for milk prices to make a quick comeback, but some are not too optimistic that it will happen anytime soon.  The July Class one fluid milk price is $15.36 as announced on June 20 which is an 11 cent increase over last month but down $1.23 as compared to a year ago.  Jim Wautier of Church-Site Farms in Brussels and a member of the Ag Advisory Board says he does not see a big change coming this summer.


According to United States Dairy Association (USDA), the national weighted average advertised price of a half-gallon of conventional milk is $1.71 as of June 22.

Farm Technology Days suggest Moore Cabin improvements as legacy project

By Tim Kowols       

On the heels of the announcement of thousands of dollars for area students through scholarships and grants for local organizations, Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days has set their sights even higher for their legacy community project. Committee members detailed their wishes to rehabilitate the Ransom Moore Cabin, currently located on the Dana Farm at Kewaunee's Winter Park. Moore is credited with founding the University of Wisconsin Agriculture Department and the state's 4-H program. If matched by the county, the committee would contribute $28,000 towards the project to make it a year-round destination for meetings and other events. FTD committee executive secretary Aerica Bjurstrom says it is a great way to honor the impact of a Footbridge native and the community event.

Bjurstrom says plans will be fleshed out more in the coming months while the Kewaunee County Board and other committees decide to either match the funds for the project or to partner with another idea.

New NR-151 rules go into effect on Sunday

By Tim Kowols       

Farmers spreading manure onto fields with less than two feet of soil to bedrock will have to find a new place for their nutrients starting Sunday. New NR-151 rules will include smaller operations in 15 Wisconsin counties including Kewaunee and Door in its manure spreading procedures after the Natural Resources Board passed the changes in January.  Owners of larger farms have already had to follow similar rules. Kewaunee County Board member Lee Luft is hopeful the new changes will have a positive impact on the area's groundwater, but says it will have a negative effect on some farmers.

Luft says farmers negatively affected by the new NR-151 rules can speak with their local land and water conservation offices on what they can do to stay within the regulations.

Deadline for Door County Fair exhibit registration

By Eric Fischer


For the first time ever, the Door County Fair is using an electronic registration for fair entries.  There are two categories for registering, the Junior Fair, open for school-aged kids in 4-H and FFA, as well as the Open Fair which does not have any age restriction.  Sara Mueller, Secretary of the Door County Fair Board, says the registration deadline is coming soon.

To register, go to the Door County Fair Website, click the "Exhibits" tab and select the Junior Fair Link or Open Class link. If you do not have access to a computer, you can register at the UW-Extension office until the Friday before each deadline.  The Door County Fair is August 1-5 at John Miles Fair Park in Sturgeon Bay.

Kewaunee County Dairy Futurity adds different spin on showcasing animals

By Tim Kowols       

Youth in Brown, Door, and Kewaunee County are starting to pick their dates for Saturday night of the 2020 Kewaunee County Fair by going out to their calf hutches. Entering its 11th year, the Kewaunee County Dairy Futurity pits youth against Father Time as they try to predict which calves will become great cows in three years. Once the calves grow up, their owners dress in formal wear and show their cows to a full audience. Futurity organizer Amy Koenig says the popular fair event is quite the commitment.

Based on the state event entering its 32nd year in August, Kewaunee County was one of the first to introduce the dairy futurity at a local level.  The Kewaunee County Dairy Futurity will take place July 21 at 7:30 p.m.  You can find more details on how you can participate in future years online with this story.


Picture courtesy of Kewaunee County Futurity's Facebook page

Staats' FFA support continues at annual Dairy Breakfast

By Tim Kowols       

Even when they are not hosting thousands of people at their farm for the Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast, there is a good chance you have experienced Ed and Deb Staats' commitment to the organization during it. Sunday marks the fourth time Country View Farms near Carlsville has hosted the annual event. The farm milks over 400 cows three times a day and annually crops around 2,000 acres. Every other year, it is their syrup that gets the spotlight as it gets drizzled on pancakes during the all-you-can-eat breakfast. Deb Staats says they volunteer every year to support the organization that provides so many scholarships and programs to local students.

Staats says the Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast is a great introduction to farming for Door County's out-of-town guests and for old friends and neighbors to catch up. The event takes place this Sunday beginning at 6:00 a.m.

UW-Extension, Literacy Partners, team up to help farm employees

By Tim Kowols       

Officials from the UW-Extension Language Services met with Bob Garfinkel from Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County and team members from Kinnard Farms and Ebert Enterprises earlier this week to better communicate with their employees. According to a 2009 University of Wisconsin study, an estimated 40 percent of workers on the state's dairy farmers are immigrants. UW-Extension Language Services visited to learn how to address the communication barriers between employees and farm operators by updating Spanish-language training materials. Garfinkel says it could have a big impact on their efforts to help people assimilate to life in America.

Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County tutors individuals in English skills so they can get jobs, earn their citizenship and graduate from high school. The organization recently celebrated its eleventh student to go on and become a U.S. citizen.

Farm Technology Days announces plans for $250,000 in grants and scholarships

By Tim Kowols       

Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days ensured its legacy will be felt for years to come with Monday's announcement of its plans to distribute $250,000 to area groups and students. For at least the next ten years, $1,000 scholarships will be given to a deserving student at six area school districts. Another $70,000 is earmarked for local organizations to apply for grants with the remaining monies reserved for a legacy community project. Kewaunee County FTD Executive Chair Amber Hewett says after awarding $103,000 to date back to the community, it is excited to give back even more.

Over 20 organizations have already benefited from last year's three-day event, which drew over 26,000 people to Ebert Enterprises in Algoma. You can find information on how your organization can apply for the available grant funds by visiting this story online.

Brussels playing host to antique tractor pull Saturday

By Paul Schmitt    

Some classic and heavy farm equipment will be competing and featured this weekend in Brussels.  The Brussels Antique Pullers are hosting the first of two tractor pulls this summer.  Formerly known as the ABC pulls, President Mike Baudhuin shares what is in store for attendees on Saturday.


Baudhuin says there will be 20 classes competing in the antique tractor pull starting at noon on Saturday.  The free event will be held at the Mike Kinnard property at 1062 Pit Road in Brussels. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society. The event starts at noon and is expected to run until approximately 5:00 PM.

Junion Homestead celebrates 150 years at Breakfast on the Farm

By Eric Fischer

Over 3,000 people made the trip to the Junion Homestead Farm for the 2018 Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm.  The Junion Homestead Farm was chosen as the host of the annual breakfast as it celebrates 150 years in operation, with 7 generations of farmers having worked the land.  Amanda Dolphin, a member of the family, says it means a lot that they were able to celebrate this day with the community.

The dairy breakfast featured scrambled eggs, pizza, cheese curds, and other dairy items.  At the event, organizer of the Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm JJ Pagel announced the 2019 Breakfast on the Farm would be held at Kinnard Inc., in Casco.

Healthy Ridge Farm grateful for good weather

By Eric Fischer

One local farmer says he is thankful for the good weather this spring.  Dan Barnard is the owner of Healthy Ridge Farm, a certified organic farm in Sturgeon Bay known for strawberries and many other produce which they sell throughout the area.  Barnard says that even with Winter Storm Evelyn temporarily delaying planting, that they are on track to start picking strawberries in the upcoming weeks.

Barnard also says the recent rains will help grow the big, juicy strawberries people have come to love from his farm.  You can sign up to receive weekly deliveries of produce from Healthy Ridge by going to their website at this link.

Knorn, Kewaunee County dairy judging team lead pack at Area Animal Science Day

By Tim Kowols       

Members from Kewaunee County 4-H Clubs brought home plenty of awards from the Area Animal Science Day held in Luxemburg Thursday. Over 300 youth converged on the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds as they displayed their animal judging skills. Mikayla Knorn captured the top senior individual honor for dairy judging while the county's team won first place overall. Kimberly Van Donsel took 3rd place overall in the individual livestock judging contest while the county's team took second place. Kewaunee County 4-H Educator Jill Jorgenson says the youth did a great job displaying their animal knowledge, especially since they are ones used to being judged.

Knorn, Van Donsel, and the two judging teams head to the Madison area later this summer for the state contests.


Pictures courtesy of Kewaunee County UW Extension

Dairy farmers could feel impact from new tariffs

By Tim Kowols       

Retaliation for newly imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico, and European Union members could hurt Wisconsin dairy farmers. New tariffs on American-made cheese imposed by Mexico especially sticks out since the country is the United States' top export partner for dairy products according to Dairy Business Association Director of Government Affairs John Holevoet. He expects some price disruption depending on how broad and how long the tariffs are imposed.

Holevoet says the tariffs come at a bad time for farmers as milk and crop prices continue to be low. According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, approximately 90 percent of the over 30 billion pounds of milk produced in the state is processed into cheese.

Farmers looking for more rain as crops continue to progress

By Paul Schmitt    

The recent dry weather conditions have area farmers looking to Mother Nature for help in keeping their crops effectively growing.  Jim Wautier from Church Site Farms in  Brussels and a member of the Ag Advisory Board says his crops look good but additional rains are really needed.


According to Enviroweather, southern Door County has received just one-half inch of rain so far this month.  Typically the month of June has a total precipitation level of well over three inches of rain for the area.

Former Kewaunee County Fairest prepares for busy summer ahead

By Tim Kowols       


The reigning Wisconsin Fairest of the Fair is heading into crunch time as dairy breakfasts, county fairs, and the Wisconsin State Fair dots her calendar. Former Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair Isabella Haen plans on attending over 40 county fairs alone this summer after earning the statewide distinction in January. Haen says it is great to be able to represent Kewaunee County as she crisscrosses the state.

Haen says she is still getting used to all the travel involved with her role and planning the perfect routes. She will attend 28 county fairs in July alone before taking up residency at the Wisconsin State Fair in August.

Host family ready to shine for 150th anniversary at Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm

By Tim Kowols       

The Knorn Family is ready for its close-up again as it prepares to host the Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm next Sunday in Casco. Junion Homestead Farm last hosted the annual event in 1998 and has since seen its herd grow from around 30 cows to over 200. Their unique compost bedded barns have drawn farmers from across the country and around the world to the farm as they learn how the technique provides more comfort for the cow and an alternative for manure management. Amanda Dolphin works on the farm with the rest of her family and says she is excited to show off the operation to the community.

Over 4,500 people are expected to attend this year's Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm, which will take place on Father's Day beginning at 7 a.m. with a non-denominational mass before food service begins at 8 a.m.

Kewaunee FFA Alumni Truck and Tractor Pull scheduled for June 22

By Paul Schmitt    

The pride of area farm equipment will be featured and revving its power in a couple weeks in Kewaunee County. The Kewaunee Future Farmers of America Association (FFA) Alumni's 16th annual Truck and Tractor Pull is Friday, June 22 at the Ag Heritage Center south of Kewaunee.  Kewaunee FFA Alumni representative Scott Kieckbusch says their will be a powerful lineup of agricultural vehicles on display.


The Truck and Tractor Pull originally started using a farmer's field south of the Ag Heritage Center, according to Kieckbusch.  He says the event, which starts at 6 pm on June 22, has drawn over 1,000 visitors and participants in the past.  Proceeds from the Truck and Tractor Pull goes towards funding FFA trips and scholarships to Kewaunee High School students in which nine were issued this last year.

Pagel remembered at Kewaunee County's Dairy Month Kickoff Breakfast

By Tim Kowols       

The Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Committee kicked off its June Dairy Month festivities by remembering one of its greatest supporters. John T. Pagel was posthumously honored with the organization's Volunteer Recognition and Appreciation Award in front of a full room at the Rendezvous of Luxemburg for the Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Committee's June Dairy Month Kickoff Breakfast. Pagel was recognized for his efforts promoting the dairy industry, including his farm's three stints as Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm hosts. His daughter, Jamie Witcpalek, says she and her three brothers have large shoes to fill as the new owners of Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy.



The annual event also included a keynote address by Wisconsin Fairest of the Fair Isabella Haen and an introduction of the Knorn family as this year's Breakfast on the Farm hosts. The Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm will take place at the Junion Homestead Farm on June 17.

Water quality focus of bark bed project in Casco

By Tim Kowols       


A pit lined with plastic and filled with bark on a Casco farm could have a positive impact on water quality in the area. Kinnard Farms is partnering with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection to build the state's second bark bed tile filter. The bark in the pit acts as a filter for excess nitrogen and other nutrients as water from the tile line flows through it, similar to a wetland. Lee Kinnard says the years of data from a similar system in Sheboygan and others in the Corn Belt yielded positive results and hopes they can be duplicated locally.



Kinnard praised the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farm Network for bringing in experts and scientists to be great resources for their operations.

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