Ag briefs: Farm worker released from hospital following plane crash

Compiled by Wisconsin State Farmer Staff
National briefs


Farm worker released from hospital following plane crash

One of two farm workers injured when a vintage military plane struck a Sheboygan County barn building earlier this month has been released from the hospital, though her coworker remained at a medical facility in Neenah, the sheriff's office said Monday.

A 25-year-old woman had been released from the last hospital where she'd been known to be receiving treatment, though the hospital couldn't confirm that she'd gone home, the Sheboygan County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Her 29-year-old male colleague was still at Theda Clark Hospital in Neenah, though his status had been upgraded from "critical" to "acute care," the law enforcement agency said.

The workers were injured July 20 when a vintage De Havilland Venom airplane crashed into the farm moments after taking off from the nearby Sheboygan County Airport. The pilot, 50-year-old Martin J. Tibbitts, died in the crash.


Central New York dairy farmer gored to death by bull

Police say a 68-year-old dairy farmer has died after being gored by a bull in his pasture in central New York.

Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin says Eugene Wolfert was pronounced dead shortly after emergency personnel arrived at his farm in Middlefield Tuesday morning.

Devlin says Wolfert apparently was feeding his cattle when the bull charged and gored him multiple times, pinning him to the ground and pushing him out of the pasture. A family member called 911.

Devlin says the bull was euthanized after the attack. He said the family reported it had not been aggressive before.


Tyson cites tariffs in cutting earnings outlook for the year

Tyson Foods is citing higher tariffs and uncertainty about trade policies in cutting its profit forecast.

The Springdale, Arkansas-based company said Monday the tariffs are primarily affecting chicken and pork prices, in the U.S. and elsewhere. President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on a range of goods, and China retaliated with tariffs on U.S. exports.

Tyson Foods Inc. says it now expects adjusted earnings of about $5.70 to $6 for the year. It previously expected $6.55 to $6.70 per share. CEO Tom Hayes said "changing global trade policies here and abroad" and "the uncertainty of any resolution" contributed to lower prices and an oversupply. Tyson shares fell 6 percent.


Poor growing weather puts the freeze on peach crop

Freezing weather has shriveled Georgia's peach crop, which could put the squeeze on growers for a second straight year.

A similar hardship appears to have eliminated half of Georgia's blueberry yield, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The difficult years mean shoppers in produce aisles could end up paying higher prices for a more limited selection of peaches than in past years.

Georgia peaches were expected to be on a rebound after last year's freezes and other ill-timed cool weather that destroyed all but about 15 percent of the state's crop. Blueberry farmers also expected a big turnaround for their fruit.

This year's harvests are larger than those of 2017, still, it's the second tough year for peach growers.


Wisconsin resident among Communications Boot Camp graduates

Tammy Wiedenbeck, from Wisconsin, is one of 15 farm and ranch women leaders recognized by the American Farm Bureau Federation as graduates of the organization’s 12th annual Women’s Communications Boot Camp. The intensive three-day course completed by the agricultural leaders comprised hands-on sessions on public speaking, working with the media and messaging. 

“It’s gratifying to see the increased confidence of these women leaders as they sharpen their skills for sharing messages about agriculture,” said Sherry Saylor, an Arizona row crop farmer and chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee. “Boot Camp graduates are persuasive and effective in connecting with influencers at the local, state and national levels,” she added.

This year’s Boot Camp graduates are: Connie Hass, Colorado; Chyla Wilson, Idaho; Krista Swanson, Illinois; Patty Lange Fischer, Indiana; Michele Simoneaux, Louisiana; Cyndi Johnson, Montana; Elaine Moore, New Hampshire; Casey Spradley, New Mexico; Johanna Fox-Bossard, New York; Lorenda Overman, North Carolina; Lee Rankin, North Carolina; Victoria Flowers, Oregon; Colbie Niswander, Tennessee; Laura Purtle, Tennessee; Sherrie Lou Tate, Utah; and Tammy Wiedenbeck, Wisconsin.

The American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee, in partnership with AFBF staff, hosts and provides training for the Women’s Communications Boot Camp. This the 12th year of the program, which has more than 180 graduates and is open to all women involved in Farm Bureau. An application process is used to select the participants.


Vermont man sentenced in fatal crash

A Vermont man has been sentenced to 19 years in prison in a drunken driving crash that killed a Tinmouth farmer.

Thomas Velde Jr. had pleaded guilty to hitting and killing 57-year-old Leo Branchaud on the road outside Branchaud's dairy farm in Tinmouth in 2016. He was sentenced on Thursday to two felony counts of leaving the scene of an accident and grossly negligent driving, both resulting in a death.

The Rutland Herald reports that Branchaud's widow brought his tractor to a parking lot across the street from the courthouse on Thursday to honor him. Tami Carboni-Branchaud told the court that when Branchaud was hit and killed on April 22, 2016, her "world ended."

Prosecutors say Velde was drinking before the crash. His lawyers argued it was accidental.