Ag briefs: Charges filed in animal neglect case

Wisconsin State Farmer
Midwest briefs

Chilton, WI

Fire damages two-story farmhouse near Chilton

A fire caused extensive damage Sunday to a two-story farmhouse at W849 Aebischer Rd., in Charlestown.

Chilton Fire Chief Gary Halbach said part of the house was brought down with a backhoe. Another part was still standing but had a lot of smoke and water damage.

"It's probably a total loss or a major loss," Halbach told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. "With an older farmhouse, it's always tough because once that fire gets into the balloon-construction walls, it chases right up to the attic and into the roof. That's what happened on this one."

No one was home at the time. The cause of the fire was not immediately identified.

Firefighters responded to the property shortly after 9 a.m. and found flames burning through an exterior wall. The Chilton Fire Department was assisted by 10 other fire departments. Firefighters were at the scene for nearly five hours. 

Osseo, WI

Driver of horse-drawn buggy struck, killed by semi

The Wisconsin State Patrol says an Osseo man operating a horse-drawn buggy was struck and killed by a semi.

The crash happened on Highway 10 east of Osseo about 5 p.m. Wednesday. Authorities say 26-year-old Moses Petersheim was the only person in the buggy when it was hit from behind by the semi.

WXOW-TV says the driver of the semi, a 36-year-old St. Cloud, Minnesota man, was not hurt. State transportation officials say the semi is owned by Scherer and Sons Trucking from St. Joseph, Minnesota.


Meat consumption to hit new high

Americans’ love of meat is expected to hit a new high, according to a projection from the USDA. The government agency expects Americans to consume an average of 222 pounds of red meat and poultry during 2018.

Average consumption has risen 12 percent since 1990, a sign of increasing prosperity, desire to eat more protein and American overindulgence.

During the same period, U.S. meat production jumped by 66 percent and should surpass 100 billion pounds for the first time.

This excess production is being sold to foreign buyers, making Midwestern farmers and ranchers increasingly dependent on shoppers in Japan, Mexico or South Korea, three of the major markets for U.S. pork, chicken and beef.

As of midday Friday, February cattle futures traded for $1.20 per pound, while February lean hogs were worth $0.71, levels that could continue to encourage consumption.


Animals seized from Marathon Co. farm

Multiple misdemeanor counts alleging animal mistreatment have been filed against a 30-year-old Eland man in Marathon County Circuit Court.

Lance Rogalla is accused of failing to provide adequate shelter and food for farm animals at his Marathon County residence. According to court documents, Rogalla had been previously warned about the consequences of failing to provide proper care for the livestock.

He is expected to make his initial court appearance on Jan. 18.


Monument commemorates ag giant's death

A Missouri park that tells the life story of George Washington Carver is commemorated the 75th anniversary of the agriculture pioneer's death with a weekend of activities.

Born into slavery near the end of the Civil War, Carver went on to become a world-renowned scientist and educator. He is credited with teaching people how to make peanut butter and rotate crops.

He was 79 when he died Jan. 5, 1943, in Tuskegee, AL.


DNR to study deer migration in UP

The Michigan DNR says it will soon begin capturing and collaring white-tailed deer in the western Upper Peninsula as part of a multi-year study of their movement patterns, especially their migration between winter and summer ranges.

It says completing the study will provide DNR wildlife managers with information that would be needed if chronic wasting disease is detected in the U.P.

DNR regional wildlife supervisor Terry Minzey says the incurable, fatal disease hasn't yet been documented in the U.P. but has been found in two Wisconsin captive facilities within 30 miles (48 kilometers) of the Michigan border. It's also been found in Michigan's Lower Peninsula.


WI man appointed to honey board

Douglas M. Hauke, a honey producer from Marshfield, WI, was among six members appointed to the National Honey Board this week by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Members will serve a three-year term.

The 20-member National Honey Board is composed of three first handler representatives, two importer representatives, one importer-handler representative, three producer representatives, one marketing cooperative representative, and an alternate for each.


Chetek man found dead in woods

Sheriff's authorities in western Wisconsin say a man found dead in some woods near Chetek likely died of hypothermia.

The Barron County Sheriff's Department says deputies on Wednesday were rechecking an area where Joseph Moen was last seen and discovered his body. The 49-year-old Chetek man was reported missing December 27. Officials say the initial cause of death appears to be exposure to the cold.

The Barron County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy.