Agriculture

Glass of water being filled from a tap

Evers announces new grant program to help owners of contaminated private wells

BY: - August 17, 2022

Gov. Tony Evers announced on Tuesday a new $10 million grant program to help people replace, reconstruct, treat or abandon private wells in an effort to improve access to clean drinking water across the state.  The program, which is based on the previously existing Well Compensation Grant Program, is estimated to help address contamination in […]

chickens

State attorneys general support new poultry rule but question oversight

BY: - August 16, 2022

The attorneys general of 10 states are backing a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is meant to get poultry growers fair agreements with meat processors, but they want stronger oversight. “One of the many reasons it’s tough for small poultry farmers — and small farmers of all kinds — to afford […]

Wisconsin farm cornfield and landscape -- Image by David Mark free use from Pixabay

U.S. agricultural groups spell out their priorities in the next farm bill

BY: - August 4, 2022

Major U.S. agricultural production groups are pulling together their requests for the next farm bill — the massive legislation that Congress rewrites every five years to set farm and food policy — with crop insurance and disaster assistance on the top of their lists.  A panel of executives from farm groups detailed some of their […]

COMMENTARY
Wisconsin Capitol with flag, tractors farmers protest Square

We should all aspire to be peasants

BY: and - August 4, 2022

Rising food prices — as the USDA has forecast for 2022 — may seem like a good thing for farmers. After all, who wouldn’t like to see some more cash? Farmers, like everyone else, have been through a lot lately. Years of stagnant or falling farm income in many ways paralleled the stagnant wages of […]

Neglected livestock siting rules frustrate farmers, local governments, environmental groups alike

BY: - August 2, 2022

The economics of modern agriculture are pushing farmers across Wisconsin to get bigger or die, yet the state’s rules guiding where large farms can be located haven’t been updated in more than 15 years and the board responsible for hearing appeals of those decisions has had a number of vacant seats for years.  This status […]

St. Croix Co. Dairy with manure spill history reaches $65k settlement for 2019 fish kill

BY: - July 8, 2022

The Emerald Sky Dairy in the Town of Emerald in St. Croix County reached a settlement with the Wisconsin Department of Justice last month for discharging manure into a creek in November 2019, the DOJ announced last week. The settlement will require the dairy to pay $65,000 to resolve violations related to the manure discharge.  […]

DNR Secretary talks clean water, climate change and agriculture at Marquette event

BY: - June 16, 2022

Pollution from hazardous chemicals, the long-term effects of climate change and the evolving nature of agriculture all play a role in the health of Wisconsin’s residents and its economy, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole said at an event hosted by the Marquette University Law School on Wednesday. The event focused on environmental […]

Five years after massive manure spill, residents fighting for clean water

BY: - June 2, 2022

In late 2016, a pipe burst at the Emerald Sky Dairy, a factory farm in the town of Emerald in St. Croix County. The resulting leak ended up spilling nearly 300,000 gallons of manure into the surrounding wetlands and water systems.  The farm, which has a permit to operate as a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation […]

CAMBRIDGE, WI - APRIL 25: Cows walk from a barn after being milked on Hinchley's Dairy Farm on April 25, 2017 near Cambridge, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Bipartisan group of legislators discuss supporting Wisconsin agriculture at dairy event

BY: - January 19, 2022

A group of four legislators from both sides of the aisle discussed how state policies can support Wisconsin agriculture and the dairy industry at an event hosted by the Dairy Business Association (DBA) on Tuesday.  Sens. Brad Pfaff (D-Onalaska) and Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) and Reps. Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) and Don Vruwink (D-Milton), spoke […]

Wisconsin farm cornfield and landscape -- Image by David Mark free use from Pixabay

Rural policymakers, leaders look for long term answers for economic growth

BY: - September 16, 2021

Leaders and officials in Wisconsin’s rural communities must be creative and work together to turn around decades of decline and build sustainable local economies, experts said at a WisPolitics event held in La Crosse on Tuesday.   The results of Wisconsin’s 2020 census show declining populations in many rural areas and a 4% decrease in the […]

School garden

USDA grants set to grow school garden, local food programs across the state

BY: - July 30, 2021

More than $200,000 in grant money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is set to help schools across Wisconsin build or expand school garden programs and connect districts with local farmers.  The USDA Farm to School Grant program, established to bring more local food sources and better nutrition to students, is providing money to […]

OrgaNick Pastures - Young Farmers

Young, beginning farmers work to bring small farming back to Wisconsin

BY: - April 15, 2021

Nick Westby dropped out of UW-Oshkosh because he knew what he wanted to do and it didn’t require a college degree in athletic training. In 2018, he and his fiance, Holly Hornback, started OrgaNick Pastures — which he says is Wisconsin’s first certified humane, organic and pasture-raised chicken farm.  Across the Dairy State, massive factory […]