Ag Briefs: Mineral Point man dies in farm accident

Wisconsin State Farmer
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Mineral Point man dies in farm accident

A 23-year-old Mineral Point man is dead following a farm accident on June 2 in Iowa County.

According to the Iowa County Sheriff's Department, Slade Norton was hauling a wagon full of hay on County Hwy DD when he lost control of the tractor while traveling downhill. The tractor broke apart and entered a ditch, with part of the tractor and wagon coming to rest in the Yellowstone River.

Norton was pronounced dead at the scene by the Iowa County Coroner's Office, according to the news release.


Man dies while attempting to pass tractors

A man is dead after attempting to pass farm machinery on June 4 in the town of Wonewoc.

According to the Juneau County Sheriff's Office, the driver of a pickup truck was traveling west on Hwy 33 near Bass Road around 11:53 p.m. when he attempted to pass two tractor-drawn farm implements also heading west.

As the pickup driver was passing, his vehicle struck the second implement, causing him to lose control. The driver was transported to the hospital where he later died. The drivers of the tractors were unharmed.

The name of the pickup driver has not been released at this time.


Free milk for families in June

Kwik Trip and State Farm have teamed up to give free milk to families in need as part of National Dairy Month.

State Farm agents across Wisconsin are providing nearly 54,000 vouchers that can be redeemed for a free gallon of milk at any Kwik Trip location in the state through July 16.

According to the news release, participating agents will distribute the vouchers throughout their local communities and food pantries statewide. The vouchers will have an expansive reach, as both companies have more than 300 storefronts across the state.

The release said milk has been hard to come across for families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, as food pantries have limited refrigeration. Dairy prices have also increased at stores due to supply chain disruptions.

The two companies are putting over $120,000 into the dairy boost effort.


Landmark sponsors fresh produce for kids' lunches

Landmark Services Cooperative will continue to sponsor the Norski Nibbles summer lunch program with a $3,000 donation dedicated to the purchase of fresh produce, honey, meat and dairy products from the DeForest Area Farmers’ Market.

The food is distributed at several sheltered parks to kids who would otherwise go without a nutritious lunch. Landmark is also contributing beef sticks to be included in the lunches.

Norski Nibbles is a community-backed organization that provides summer lunches during the summer to kids who receive free or reduced cost lunches during the school year. This is the fourth year that Landmark has donated to program, which serves nutritious, kid-friendly meals from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on June 11 through August 29.


Sausage products recalled

Schwai’s Meat & Sausage Market in Fredonia, WI, is issuing a voluntary class I recall for three Italian sausage products due to an undeclared ingredient (soy grits) that contains the soy allergen.

The recalled products include: Italian Sausage links, 1-lb. packages sold at retail stores in Fredonia, Cedarburg, and the West Bend Farmers Market; Hot Italian Sausage links, 1-lb. packages sold at retail stores in Fredonia, Cedarburg, and the West Bend Farmers Market; and Chicken Italian Sausage links, 1-lb. packages sold at retail stores in Fredonia, Cedarburg, and the West Bend Farmers Market.

This is a Class I recall, initiated based on evidence collected during a routine inspection conducted by state food safety staff. More information is available at

No illnesses have been reported as a result of consuming these products. Consumers who have any of these products can return them to the original place of purchase or discard them. Consumers and media with questions about this recall should contact Thomas Schwai, Owner, at (262) 692-2731.  


USDA issues first CFAP payments

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced on June 4 the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has already approved more than $545 million in payments to producers who have applied for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

FSA began taking applications May 26, and the agency has received over 86,000 applications for this important relief program.

In the first six days of the application period, FSA has already made payments to more than 35,000 producers. Out of the gate, the top five states for CFAP payments are Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

USDA has released data on application progress and program payments and will release further updates each Monday at 2:00pm ET. The report can be viewed at


DFW election results announced

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has certified the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) dba Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) 2020 Board of Directors election results. Starting July 1, 2020, the newly elected dairy producers will be begin a three-year term on the DFW Board.

Election results: District 1 - Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Rusk, Sawyer and Washburn counties—Brenda Schloneger, Shell Lake; District 4 - Barron and Polk counties—Sara Bahgat-Eggert, Clayton.

District 7 - Clark County—David Bangart, Greenwood; District 10 -Brown, Door and Kewaunee counties—Tasha Schleis, Kewaunee

District 13 - Buffalo, Pepin and Pierce counties—Robert Sendelbach, Cochrane; District 16 - Fond du Lac, Green Lake and Marquette counties—Janet Clark, Rosendale

District 19 - Columbia and Dodge counties—Mark Crave, Watertown; District 22 - Grant County—Ann Kieler, Platteville; and District 25 -Green, Rock and Walworth counties—Stacy Eberle, Monroe.

DFW directors guide the organization’s finances, formulate and set its policies and long-range business plan, and maintain its mission. DATCP supervises the election and monitors board operations for compliance with applicable statues and rules.


Dane Co. doubles Second Harvest Foodbank funding

County Executive Joe Parisi announced that Dane County will double its funding to Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin to $6 million, extending the two’s COVID-19 food partnership program through the end of October.

The effort first kicked off in April, when Dane County announced $3 million would go to help Second Harvest acquire food for Dane County food pantries through the end of July. By adding an additional $3 million in funds, Dane County and Second Harvest hope to help even more Dane County residents and local food producers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dane County has linked Second Harvest with Dane County Dairy and Pork Producers, the Dane County Farmers’ Market and Fairshare CSA Coalition so more products can be bought directly, which in turn is benefitting local farmers and growers—regardless of whether they are pork producers, milk cows, or grow fresh produce like lettuce, peas, etc.


Holstein Association USA virtual meeting set

Holstein Association USA, Inc. will host a Virtual Member Update Meeting Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  It will feature the President’s Address, CEO’s State of the Association Address, and the 2019 Financial Report.  Details on how to register for the webinar will be posted on

The virtual format comes as the traditional face-to-face Annual Meeting has been postponed until 2021, when the National Convention will be held in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  This decision was made by the board of directors because of the unprecedented conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CEO John Meyer states, “The current environment provides a unique opportunity to update the dairy community on the good things that are happening at the Holstein Association USA.  We invite you to join us June 25th.


Insight FS donates $10K to support WI Dairy Recovery program

Insight FS, serving farmers throughout the state and beyond, recently donated $10,000 to Hunger Task Force to support the Wisconsin Dairy Recovery Program.

The program is a partnership between the Wisconsin Dept. of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and Hunger Task Force. Donated monies will go towards providing milk to emergency food organizations throughout the state, providing relief to underfed and unemployed Wisconsin residents.

The cooperative’s donation not only serves food insecure households, it also helps dairy farmers who are facing unexpected challenges this year.


Record sales to Southeast Asia drive dairy export numbers higher

Record exports of dry ingredients to Southeast Asia, plus rebounding volumes of whey products to China, sent U.S. dairy exports higher for the eighth straight month – a testament to the resilience of U.S. exporters in the face of COVID-19 lockdowns and disruptions, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council blog.

In April, U.S. suppliers shipped 181,437 tons of milk powders, cheese, whey products, lactose and butterfat, 7% more than the year before. On a solids basis, exports were up 10%. The value of all exports was $521.0 million, 4% more than a year ago.

On a product-volume basis, April exports to Southeast Asia were up 35% and shipments to China were up 47%. These gains were noteworthy in light of an 18% drop in sales to Mexico, where a depreciated peso and weaker economy reduced import demand and sent U.S. export volume to the lowest in almost four years.


Lawsuit filed over emergency farm worker housing rules

A Washington labor union for farm workers has sued two state agencies, asking a Thurston County Superior Court judge to strike down emergency rules on temporary housing.

Union president Ramon Torres says the rules do not protect farm workers who live in dormitory-style housing during the harvest season.

The Tri-City Herald reports the lawsuit was filed last week by the union Familias Unidas por la Justicia because of fears sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit asks the court to repeal parts of the emergency housing rules adopted by the Dept.of Labor & Industries and the Dept. of Health, which are the respondents in the lawsuit. 

Washington agricultural employers plan to bring in approximately 30,000 farm workers from rural areas of Mexico under the non-immigrant, temporary H-2A work visas from the federal government. Many work in Yakima County, which has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the state.