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MADISON

Another Irish butter battle brewing in Wisconsin 

Residents who want access to Kerrygold Irish butter sued the state last month over a law that prohibits the sale of ungraded butter. Now the company that markets Kerrygold is suing a Wisconsin creamery over its proposed solution.

Sheboygan's Old World Creamery announced last week it began importing Irish butter, giving it a quality grade and selling it as Irishgold butter. Ornua, the owner of Kerrygold's U.S. trademarks, alleged trademark infringement and false advertising in a federal lawsuit filed Monday in Milwaukee. The lawsuit asks a judge to block Old World from using the name "Irishgold."

The complaints states that the name and similar packaging show "a deliberate effort to trade off the enormous goodwill and strong reputation that Ornua has built up in the Kerrygold brand for many years" and is "highly likely to cause confusion in the market."

According to the complaint, Old World settled on the name "Irishgold" after ending discussions with Ornua about the possibility of grading and packaging Kerrygold butter in its facility and selecting a different company instead.

Eastern District of Wisconsin Judge J.P. Stadtmueller, at an April 13, hearing barred Old World Creamery from selling its imported Irish butter under the name Irishgold, which first went on sale April 12.

DODGEVILLE

Grilled Cheese Championship to take place April 29

Competitors from nine states will travel to Dodgeville to test their mettle during the 6th annual Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship on April 29. Cheese aficionados will compete in four sandwich categories: classic, classic plus one additional ingredient, classic plus extras (unlimited extra ingredients) and desserts.

Amateurs compete separately from professionals, and one category is for ages 12-17. The registration fee is low — no more than $10 per category, but competition is limited to 20 teams of two people per heat.

“The whole thing is about bragging rights,” says Lynn Price of the Dodgeville Area Chamber of Commerce, adding that 4000 spectators showed up last year.

The event is 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Ley Memorial Pavilion, 600 Bennett Rd., Dodgeville. Free general admission tickets are still available by visiting grilledcheesewisconsin.com.

ELMWOOD

Motorcyclist dies after striking cow in Wisconsin

A Wisconsin man was killed when his motorcycle struck a cow near Elmwood, WI, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.

The sheriff's department was called to the crash near the intersection of Cty Tk S and Cty Tk X in Rock Elm Township at about 8:49 p.m. Saturday, April 15.

Deputies say 56-year-old David Alan Kelch, from Arkansaw, WI, hit a cow in the roadway on his 2005 Honda motorcycle. Kelch was transported from the scene but was pronounced dead before reaching the hospital. The cow also died. The crash remains under investigation.

MADISON

Republicans propose tax breaks for Wisconsin beekeepers 

Republican lawmakers say they want to combat a rapidly declining bee population by giving Wisconsin beekeepers tax exemptions.

Rep. Amy Loudenbeck said in a memo on April 11 she and Sen. Steve Nass are seeking co-sponsors on a bill that would define beekeeping in state law. It would also extend to beekeepers sales and use tax exemptions on certain items and services sold to farming and agriculture business that already exist for others.

The memo says bees are disappearing at an alarming rate due to pesticides, parasites and habitat loss. It included a hashtag, "#BringBackTheBees."

Loudenbeck says bees are vital to Wisconsin's agricultural industry and pollinate many common food crops including cranberries, broccoli and apples.

MADISON

PDPF raises over $31,000 in silent auction

The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation (PDPF) has raised over $31,000 during a silent auction held at the 2017 PDPW Business Conference in Madison. Nearly 100 items sold for a record $31,275 at the March 15-16 event at the Alliant Energy Center.

Auction items ranged from collectible art pieces to tools, Packer tickets and get-away trips.  The proceeds from the auction will be used to fund dairy education programs through the PDPF.

The PDPF was established in 2002 as a way to raise funds and award grants for educational programs.

To learn more about the Professional Dairy Producers Foundation and to see the photo and video coverage during the silent auction and 2017 PDPW Business Conference, visit www.dairyfoundation.org or follow the social media presence on Facebook.

APPLETON

Job losses may hit Fleet Farm distribution center

Mills Fleet Farm executives are preparing their Appleton distribution center employees for the possibility of job losses or transfers 12 to 18 months from now.

An estimated 150 to 200 jobs could be at stake in its large multi-building facility at 1300 S. Lynndale Drive. Employees at the Grand Chute store and corporate headquarters here are not affected.

The fate of the distribution center is being hammered out in the coming months as the company begins building a new $65 million distribution center in Chippewa Falls. That facility, opening in the first half of 2018 and creating more than 300 jobs, could shift employment westward.

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