Wisconsin briefs - Watershed-Wide Conference March 2

Wisconsin State Farmer


Wisconsin briefs


Yahara Pride Farms to host watershed conference

Yahara Pride Farms will host the annual Watershed-Wide Conference scheduled for March 2 at the Comfort Inn and Suites in DeForest, WI. Experts from within the Yahara Watershed, across the state and outside the state will share information on modern sustainable agriculture that can be applied to farms locally and beyond.

The free conference will include a panel discussion about cover crop economics, innovations and best practices featuring local farmers, extension professionals and industry representatives.

Dr. Dave Andersen, assistant professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University will give a presentation about manure economics and application decisions while Kyle Minks from the Dane County Land and Water Resource Department will speak about the forthcoming Dane County legacy phosphorus dredging project.

In addition to the panel discussion and presentations, the event will include lunch and several program updates from Yahara Pride Farms leadership and the Yahara WINs adaptive management program.

Farmers in the Yahara Watershed are especially encouraged to attend but the event is open to all. Visit for the complete schedule and to register. Online RSVP is required by Feb. 23.


"Miscommunication" led to Skittles spill

Mars says a miscommunication with a subcontractor led to a defective batch of its Skittles, reportedly on their way to becoming cattle feed, ending up scattered across a highway.

The spill captured widespread attention after a Facebook post by a Wisconsin sheriff showed a road covered in the colorful candy. The sheriff wrote that they had fallen off the truck of a farmer who was going to feed them to cattle. Selling food byproducts for use in animal feed is not uncommon, but Mars had said that the factory that made the spilled Skittles was not approved to do so.

The candy maker also said that it only sells to third party processors that mix unused candy with other ingredients to make animal feed, not to individual farmers.

Now Mars says the mishap was the result of miscommunication between a vendor that handles its waste management and a subcontractor. The company says it doesn't believe there was "ill intent" and that "corrective action" is being taken. Mars said it can't say for certain whether the candy was given to the subcontractor to be turned into animal feed.

Mars has said the Skittles were supposed to be destroyed because a power outage during the manufacturing process left the candies without the "S'' on them.


FFA benefit auction set for March 4

Rick’s Half-Way Hall and Bar in Cadott will be hosting a FFA benefit auction on March 4 beginning at 6:30 p.m.. Thorp area auctioneers Larry Luzinski and Kevin Frese will be donating their auctioneering talents for the event. Over 100 items have been donated by area businesses.

Cadott, Stanley-Boyd and Thorp FFA Alumni members have gathered the donations with the three chapters sharing the auction proceeds over the next year. Items donated range from framed wildlife art, pedal tractors, seed corn, bean bag games, tools, gift cards, clothes, gift baskets, furniture including picnic tables and chairs and more.

The Cadott Lions will be serving their famous Charcoal Chicken Dinner as part of the evening. Tickets can be purchased from FFA Alumni members, Cadott Lions club members, and the three FFA chapters benefiting from the event. The Lions will be serving the chicken dinners from 4:30 to 7. Rick’s Half-Way Hall and Bar is located in downtown Cadott.


Free woodland owner workshops offered

A series of Woodland Owner Forums is scheduled Thursday evenings Feb. 23 through March 23 at The Lodge at Crooked Lake in Siren from 6:30 - 8 p.m. The forums are free and no registration is required. The forums conclude with a Saturday March 25 afternoon session about passing your land on to the next generation.

These sessions are an opportunity to learn about your options, meet local forestry professionals in person, and learn from the experience of other woodland owners. Each presenter will be accompanied by a woodland owner that has experience with session’s topic. 

Session topics include: managed forest law; woodland pests; beginning steps of forest management; timber sales tips; estate and session planning for woodland owners.
For more information or to RSVP for Saturday March 25, contact John Haack, UW- Extension Natural Resource Educator 715-635-7406 or