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Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin Briefs


Scenic road rally features Oconto County barn quilts

With mild temperatures, warm sunshine and the myriad of fall colors, fall is an ideal time to drive the scenic roads of Oconto County.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, you will have the opportunity to view the fall colors and barn quilts in Oconto County in the first “Barn Quilts of Oconto County Scenic Road Rally.” This free family event will allow you to enjoy the area’s scenic beauty as you follow the Barn Quilts of Oconto County Trail.

The Barn Quilt of Oconto County project was launched in 2013 to create a pathway into all Oconto County communities to generate tourism, and highlight the unique architecture and history of the barns and historic buildings in the Ccounty.

Depending on your starting point, different participation options exist.  On Oct. 1, you may either pick-up the map and rally information at select Oconto County libraries at 9 a.m. or download the information from the Oconto County Barn Quilt Trail Scenic Road Rally website (http://barnquiltsofocontocountyroadrally.weebly.com/) at 9:30 a.m.

The free event is facilitated by Barn Quilts of Oconto County, Oconto County UW-Extension, Oconto County Economic Development Corporation and New View Industries.  Refreshments will be available, and prizes will be awarded at 2 p.m. at New View Industries located at 222 West Park Street, Gillett, Wisconsin.  Winners must be present.

More information about the event is available online at http://barnquiltsofocontocountyroadrally.weebly.com/. You may also contact Lynn Jones of New View Industries at 920-855-2128, or Kay Rankel of the Gillett Public Library at 920-855-6224 or via email barnquiltsofocontocounty@gmail.com.

Grant programs and financial options for farmers & food entrepreneurs

Looking for ways to develop your innovative agricultural business?  A workshop is designed to help you identify whether grants or other financial options might be right for you.

Wisconsin farmers have used grants to develop value-added enterprises, try out innovative production and marketing techniques, and educate other farmers and the public about sustainable agriculture.  But figuring out whether a grant program is right for you and working through the application can be intimidating.  This workshop will discuss when grants make sense and cover ways to plan your project and strengthen your application.

Specific grant programs to be covered include:

  • USDA’s Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program, which provides planning and working capital funds to farmers and farmer-based enterprises to develop and implement value-added ventures
  • USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant program, which funds research, and education projects that advance sustainable agriculture
  • USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program, which funds endeavors that enhance the competitiveness of Wisconsin Specialty Crops Wisconsin’s Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin (BLBW) grant program, which funds projects that increase the demand for and supply of locally produced foods in Wisconsin.

In addition, the workshop will briefly cover USDA cost-share and loan programs for farmers.  Dates and Locations:

  • Wednesday, September 14th – Barron Electric Coop, 1434 State Hwy. 25 N., Barron. To register contact: Tim Jergenson at tim.jergenson@ces.uwex.edu or (715) 537-6250.
  • Wednesday,  October 5th – Pippin Center, Melville Hall, UW-Richland Center, 1200 US-14, Richland Center. To register contact:  Adam Hady at adam.hady@ces.uwex.edu or (608) 647-6148.
  • Thursday, October 6th  – Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, W2493 County Road ES, East Troy. To register contact:  Leigh Presley at leigh.presley@ces.uwex.edu  or (262) 857-1948.
  • Tuesday, October 11th – Crystal Falls Banquet Hall, 1500 Handschke Drive, New London. To register contact:  Greg Blonde at greg.blonde@ces.uwex.edu or (715) 258-6231.

The registration fee of $15 will cover the cost of lunch and materials.

For more information contact: Diane Mayerfeld, UW-Extension: dbmayerfeld@wisc.edu  or 608-262-8188,


Equity Cooperative Livestock offers scholarships
Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association is offering ten $1,000 scholarships for the 2017 academic year to college students pursuing careers, as well as two $750 scholarships specifically for students earning degrees from technical colleges.
 “Equity Livestock is proud to help students further their educational endeavors by offering scholarships,” says Chuck Adami, president/CEO. “The rise in tuition isn’t making it easy for today’s youth to earn their degree, so if our scholarship program can slightly reduce their financial
worries, then by all means, we should support their efforts.”
 To be eligible, applicants must be a member or the son or daughter of an Equity Cooperative Livestock producer pursuing higher education from an accredited college, university, or technical school. Scholarship winners are selected based on their scholastic achievements, extracurricular activities, application essay response and dedication to a career.
 Applications are available from the home page of the cooperative’s website at www.equitycoop.com, or by calling 1-800-362-3989, ext. 152. Applicants are asked to provide a current college transcript and three letters of reference in addition to their completed online
application form by Monday, Nov. 28.
 Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association is a federated cooperative headquartered in Baraboo. Equity operates 12 auction markets, and services producers in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Equity assists producers with the marketing,
managing and financing of their agricultural businesses.