Wisconsin briefs - Rice Lake Farm City Banquet

Wisconsin State Farmer

Rice Lake

Wisconsin briefs

Rice Lake Farm City Banquet

The Rice Lake Farm City Banquet will be held Monday, March 20, 2017, at the Moose Club in Rice Lake.  The banquet begins at 7:30 p.m.  This event is hosted by the Rice Lake Holstein Club, Rice Lake Kiwanis, Rice Lake Lions Club, and the Rice Lake Rotary Club.

This year’s Farm City Banquet featured speaker is Pam Selz-Pralle.  Pam and her husband, Scott, operate a 400-cow dairy farm in Clark County. Their families have been farming for more than a century.  The herd is 100 percent registered, and the cows average 106 pounds of milk per day. The farm includes 1,000 acres of corn and alfalfa.  Scott manages the day-to-day operations, and Pam manages the employees.

Pam’s newest passion has become advocating for agriculture, especially in an organization called CommonGround, a national movement of farm moms talking to consumers. Members give the consumer a face of agriculture to connect to, and they work to create conversations between women who grow food and those who purchase food.   Pam has participated in a national coast-to-coast radio tour talking to broadcasters about farming practices.

"Women are typically making a lot of food choices for their households," states Pam. "We want to give that consumer a face of agriculture to connect to. The conversations we create with consumers are based on the personal experiences we have as farmers, but also on science and research."

As Pam continues her agricultural advocacy work, she is piloting an Adopt-A-Calf program with two area elementary schools in their fourth grade classes. Prior to the calves' birth, Pam will visit with the class. Periodically, she will report back to the class on the progress and development their calf is experiencing.

The purpose of the Farm City Banquet is to bring farmers, civic organizations and businesses together to recognize the important contributions made by agriculture to the local community.  The Farm City Banquet has been a tradition in Rice Lake for over 75 years and has grown into a county-wide event.

The banquet features a delicious meal prepared by the Women of the Moose.  Tickets cost $7 per person and are available from members of the Rice Lake Holstein Club and at the Barron County UW-Extension Office in Barron.


PDPW launches Dairy AdvanCE™

Professional Dairy Producers® (PDPW) introduces Dairy AdvanCE™, a new online, one-stop professional development shop for the dairy industry. “We designed Dairy AdvanCE so farmers can easily take control of their Continuing Education (CE) and position themselves for success,” says PDPW President Mitch Breunig, who owns and manages Mystic Valley Dairy LLC in Sauk City.

“Consumers’ expectations of farmers and farming are changing, and it’s affecting the entire food chain,” he explains. “It’s never been more important for dairy farmers to be proactive and prepared to demonstrate our dedication to continuous improvement. Dairy AdvanCE makes that easy.”

At, you’ll find vetted, high-quality dairy education and training programs, workshops and accredited CE opportunities on a wide range of topics – from animal care to human resources, financial management to environmental stewardship. This online resource also lets farmers and their on-farm team members easily track their CE credits and advancement toward their professional development goals.

Another Dairy AdvanCE advantage is the ability to print CE transcripts, so farmers can demonstrate their commitment to continuous improvement in their business plans to lenders and partners. “Dairy AdvanCE offers training, tracking and reporting all in one spot,” shares Breunig. “These are the benefits the industry valued most when we tested the concept with dairy farmers, allied industry and education providers.”

PDPW verifies each training for content quality and rigor, including speakers’ expertise and assurance of non-promotional content. There’s no need for farmers to waste time searching for qualified training opportunities because Dairy AdvanCE gathers them all in one spot.

West-central Wisconsin dairy farmer Darci Daniels believes in Dairy AdvanCE. “The idea of an online resource of top-quality training and education offerings is spot on. I can search for something specific or discover programs that I didn’t even know existed,” she says.

Those who market and provide services to dairy farmers could benefit from Dairy AdvanCE. “Knowing the person I’m dealing with has a qualified base of knowledge means productive conversations about our farm,” Daniels adds.

While PDPW developed Dairy AdvanCE for farmers, anyone in the dairy industry can subscribe. This includes allied industry professionals such as veterinarians, nutritionists, technicians, field and sales representatives, as well as food system, legal and public service professionals.

Dairy AdvanCE is free for dairy farmer owners, farm managers and on-farm team members. For all others, there is a $50 annual subscription fee. To learn more or subscribe to Dairy AdvanCE visit, email, or call 800-947-7379.


Forum on Soil Health and Cover Crops on March 22

Multiple public and private entities are sponsoring a forum on soil health and cover crops on Wednesday, Mar. 22, at Knox's Silver Valley Banquet Hall, 1222 South Alverno Road, Manitowoc.

Starting at 10 am, Natural Resources Conversation Service district conservationist Matt Rataczak will review cover crop goals and objectives. Then Winnebago County Extension Service agriculture agent Darrell McCauley will share the results of how the presence of manure made a difference in the microbial activity in the soil during a project in several northeast Wisconsin counties in 2016.

The morning session will continue with Sheboygan County Extension Service crops and soils agent Mike Ballweg describing the when and how for planting cover crops. Just before the noon lunch, Steve Hoffman of InDepth Agronomy and Danielle Block of the Manitowoc County soil and water conservation department will conduct a short tour of no-till and cover crop practices.

“Making Cover Crops Pay” will be the topic of the opening afternoon presentation by University of Wisconsin – Madison and Extension Service soil scientist Matt Ruark. The day's program with a panel session on manure applications and the seeding of cover crops. Scheduled presenters are Jesse Dvorachek on low disturbance manure application equipment, Brandon Vogel on low disturbance manure applications into cover crops, and Dean Heimermann of Countryside Aviation on aerial application of cover crop seeds.

Reservations for the forum, including the noon lunch, are $30 per person. Checks payable to Manitowoc County Treasurer should be sent to Manitowoc County UWEX, attn Amanda Cordova, P.O. Box 935, Manitowoc, WI 54221-0935.


Wineries invited to exhibit in Beverage Pavilion at National Restaurant Show

Wisconsin wineries have a unique opportunity to market their products to 5,000-plus pre-qualified beverage alcohol buyers in one place at the same time at the Beverage and Alcohol Restaurant (BAR) Expo held in conjunction with the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, May 21-22, 2017.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is organizing a Wisconsin Pavilion as part of the BAR Expo and is seeking qualified Wisconsin wineries to exhibit in the pavilion. The BAR Expo targets pre-qualified and vetted buyers and decision-makers within the restaurant, bar, hospitality, retail and distributor segments.

From independent producers to established brands, BAR is a gateway to the menus, table tops and bars that will expose exhibitor products to tens of thousands of consumers. The pavilion is seen as an excellent opportunity for Wisconsin wineries to expand their domestic footprint.

Cost for booth space within the pavilion will be $150. Booth space will include two complimentary exhibitor badges, a draped table, carpeting, and standard exhibitor materials. Pavilion exhibitors can bring limited amounts of product samples and sample handouts.

The National Restaurant Association Show attracts more than 45,000 foodservice buyers annually and is one of the largest shows in the world dedicated to the food, beverage and hospitality industry.

Wisconsin wineries interested in exhibiting in the pavilion or seeking more information should contact DATCP economic development consultant Ashwini Rao at 608-224-5119 or by April 15, 2017.