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MADISON

State Christmas tree from Eagle River

The Christmas tree that will be on display in the Wisconsin state Capitol this year is coming from Eagle River.

Gov. Scott Walker announced that the balsam fir is being donated by Bruce and Charlotte Carey. The tree is due to arrive at the Capitol this week and will be installed after Thanksgiving. The tree will be decorated with ornaments made by Wisconsin school children. The theme this year is "Wisconsin Wildlife."

The tree is on display in the rotunda of the Capitol during the holiday season. The tree was transported by Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association.

MADISON

Health insurance coverage reaches historic high in WI

The Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare", includes several provisions that were intended to get health insurance coverage to uninsured citizens. In Wisconsin, health insurance coverage went up from 90.9 percent in 2013 to 94.3 percent in 2015. Wisconsin now has the highest health insurance coverage rate since data became available, and ranks 7th among all the states in terms of the share of residents covered by some form of health insurance. In 2015, Wisconsin retained its long-standing position as one of the best-covered states in the nation.

The recent analysis by the Applied Population Laboratory at UW-Madison also shows evidence of historic gains in health insurance coverage among working-aged adults (ages 18-64). Coverage for working-aged adults was up significantly in all but three states last year. Health insurance coverage for working-aged adults went from 84 percent in 2014 to 87 percent in 2015 nationally, and from 87 percent to 90 percent in Wisconsin--the highest rate of insurance coverage in history. Health insurance coverage also increased among children and people living below or near the poverty level.

Much of this increase in coverage can be attributed to provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which aimed to reduce the number of US residents without health insurance.

MADISON

2016 Soil, Water, & Nutrient Management meetings set

The Department of Soil Science, in conjunction with University of Wisconsin-Cooperative Extension will host eight Soil, Water, & Nutrient Management Meetings around the state Nov. 29 through Dec. 9. The purpose of these meetings is to provide research updates in the field of soil fertility, nutrient management, soil and water conservation, and water quality.  Each meeting will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 3 p.m.. A $45.00 registration fee (which includes lunch) will be charged for the meeting. Event organizers request participants pre-register with the host agent at least one week before the meeting they wish to attend.

Scheduled events and host agents are: Nov. 29, Dane Co., Madison, Heidi Johnson, 608-224-3716; Nov. 30, Monroe Co., Sparta, Bill Halfman, 608-269-8722; Dec. 1, Eau Claire Co., Eau Claire, Mark Hagedorn, 715-839-4712; Dec. 2, Adams Co., Marshfield, Richard Halopka, 715-743-5121; Dec. 6, Sheboygan Co., Kiel, Mike Ballweg, 920-459-5904; Dec. 7, Shawano Co., Cecil, Jamie Patton, 715-526-6136; Dec. 8, Iowa Co., Dodgeville, Gene Schriefer, 608-930-9850; Dec. 9, Dodge Co., Juneau, Loretta Ortiz-Ribbing, 920-386-3790.

WAUPUN

PDPW Cornerstone Dairy Academy™ applications available

The 2017 Professional Dairy Producers® (PDPW) Cornerstone Dairy Academy is set for March 14-15, 2017 at the Alliant Energy Center – Exhibition Hall in Madison. The application-based professional development training is open to dairy farmers and other dairy professionals looking to advance their management career skills. The two-day advanced training offers attendees a choice of three training pillars, focused on developing comprehensive leadership tactics to build the foundation for a successful career on the dairy farm or out in the dairy industry.

The Academy is designed to meet the needs of dairy farmers and other industry professionals looking to transition their careers into management levels or further enhance their career skills as they grow in the industry. Expert trainers will engage attendees, cultivate new ways of thinking and fine-tune the attendee’s approach to problem solving, conflict management and leadership.

Applications are due Jan. 31 and available online at www.pdpw.org/cornerstone.php. To learn more about the Cornerstone Dairy Academy, visit www.pdpw.org or contact PDPW at 1-800-947-7379.

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