WI Briefs: Mil. aims for largest organic fruit orchard

Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin briefs


Milwaukee County plants urban organic fruit orchard

Milwaukee County will soon have the largest urban organic fruit orchard in the country.

The first of 3,000 fruit trees, 4,000 asparagus plants and more than 16,000 strawberry plants were planted last weekend at the orchard in Oak Creek as part of the county's Sowing, Empowering, and Eliminating Food Deserts Initiative.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic started the program in 2015, Wisconsin Public Radio reported. She says the orchard could serve as a learning opportunity about the need for access to healthy food options.

Dimitrijevic said the benefits of the locally grown food are worth the $100,000 investment from the county.

"Food deserts are extremely harmful to our overall public health," he said. "The more we can eliminate them and supply people with the tools to improve their health, I think, overall, we'll have a healthier community."

Milwaukee County Supervisor Steve Taylor says the produce will go to those in need, with schools and low-income residents getting access first.

Taylor said it will be a few years before the trees bear fruit. The produce will be processed locally at the Growing Power facility, and the Milwaukee Hunger Task Force will help distribute it through its mobile markets.


Making manure into more

The Making Manure into More Anaerobic Digesters/Biogas Systems tour will showcase three different types of biogas (urban dry anaerobic, large wet anaerobic, and small wet anaerobic) systems in eastern Wisconsin.

The tour is slated for Thursday, Dec. 1, and is open to all farmers, industry professionals and others who share an interest in learning more about anaerobic digestion and biogas systems.

Due to the nature of the tour, all participants must ride on the charter bus. The full-day tour will leave and return on a chartered bus from the two locations:

  • 8:15 a.m. pickup, 5:15 p.m. return, UW-Extension Outagamie County, 3365 W. Brewster St., Appleton, WI.
  • 9 a.m. pickup, 4:30 p.m. return, UW Oshkosh Campus Services Center, 650 Witzel Avenue, Oshkosh.

Along with touring the systems, attendees will learn about biogas systems and have the opportunity to connect with project collaborators, other farmers, and industry professionals.

Tour registration is based on a first come, first served basis. Cost of the tour is $40 per person by Nov. 7 (includes transportation and lunch), and $55 per person after Nov. 7. For more information contact Scott Gunderson at (920) 683-4175 or


Wisconsin Holstein seeks summer interns for 2017

The Wisconsin Holstein Association is searching for college students looking to learn more about the registered Holstein industry and wanting to gain valuable experiences that can be utilized in any industry.

The position will include office work, event planning, public relations, attending District Shows and events, providing copy and photos for the association's publications, fund raising, build valuable partnerships with industry partners and more.

Applicants must be enrolled in a 2 or 4 year university and should have experience in the Registered Holstein or dairy industry. The internship will last from May 22 to Aug. 18, 2017.

Submit the following materials by Nov. 18, 2016 to or mail to: WI Holstein Association, Summer Internship, 902 8th Ave., Baraboo, WI  53913 - a cover letter, resume, grade transcript and two letters of reference. Interviews will be held at the WHA office in Baraboo. For more information, call 800-223-4269.

Professional Dairy Producers Foundation (PDPF) Makes Grant Funds Available


Professional Dairy Producers Foundation (PDPF) seeks to fund innovative programs that help build dairy producer professionalism, a proactive and prepared dairy community and public trust in how dairy products are produced. Grant applications are due December 1, 2016. Organizations may apply for grants of up to $5,000. For grant criteria and an application package, visit

Examples of projects that have previously been funded include:

WiCAER Watershed Education and Information Programs - Farmer-led watershed initiatives facilitate voluntary practices that protect and enhance water quality.  WiCAER works with Yahara Pride Farms, Farmers of Barron County Watershed, Peninsula Pride Farms and Buffalo Trempealeau Farmer Network. Our grant helped engage farmers in projects by offering producer education and training as well as cost-sharing for practices they want farmers to implement.

PDPW Cornerstone Dairy AcademyTM - Is an educational track that focuses on communication and leadership skills.  Cornerstone is especially effective for those with strong technical skills, who want to pair that knowledge with the communication skills needed for advancement and leadership in the dairy industry.

Young Guernsey Leaders - Leaders in the American Guernsey Association created this program to involve young people in leadership opportunities within their organization. The program enhances leadership skills and builds mentor-internship relationships that will strengthen the dairy community long-term.

Dairy Worker Training Videos - With grant funds from the Foundation two training videos were created in English and Spanish to be used on dairy farms for training purposes. The videos support dairy producers and dairy farm workers, and meet an industry-wide need for quality training for new and existing employees.

The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation was established to raise funds and award grants for educational programs that benefits the dairy community. The Foundation is a 501(c) (3) entity. For information on programs funded and ways to donate, visit