Ag Briefs: Crowley Dairy award recipients announced

Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin briefs


Federal officials invite comments on petition for deregulation of corn developed with GE

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is inviting public comment on a petition from Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. (Pioneer) seeking deregulation of a corn variety developed using genetic engineering for resistance to corn rootworm and tolerance to glufosinate herbicides. The petition will be available for public review and comment for 60 days.

APHIS is interested in receiving comments regarding potential environmental and interrelated economic impacts to assist in our assessment of the petition as it relates to the National Environmental Policy Act. The public comments received, along with the best available scientific documents, will assist APHIS in determining the appropriate environmental documents to prepare in accordance with our petition process to make a fully informed decision on the regulatory status of this corn variety developed using genetic engineering.  

The petition and Federal Register notice can be viewed now on the News page of the APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services website. Beginning tomorrow, members of the public will be able to submit comments through January 4, 2021, at


Crowley Dairy award recipients announced

The University of Wisconsin Extension has announced the 15 winners of the James W. Crowley Dairy Leadership award which recognizes 4-H youth members who display excellence and outstanding leadership in dairy projects throughout Wisconsin.

The award committee, composed of dairy industry leaders and professionals, is pleased to name the award in honor and memory of James W. Crowley, longtime Extension Dairy Specialist and strong supporter of dairy youth project work. 

The top three youth awardees, Grace Haase, Sarah Hagenow, and Natalie Roe, each received $500 for their continuation of dairy education. The first-place awardee, Natalie Roe, received a $5,000 scholarship to attend the Department Animal and Dairy Science at UW-Madison.

Congratulations to the 2020 Winners: Megan Anderson, Elise Bleck, Barbara Dittrich, Emma Dorshorst, Justyne Frisle, Brooke Hammann, Hanna Hockerman, Kaylee Mess, Megan Moede, Ben Stone, Carly Strauss, and Randy Winch.


Registration open for 2020 WI 4-H virtual meats judging contest

Registration is now open for the 2020 virtual meats judging contest for 4-H members. The contest will test the knowledge of youth in placement of carcass and retail cut classes, carcass grading, and retail cut identification.

Juniors (age 8-13) and Seniors (age 14-19) are invited to register as individuals to participate and display their meat evaluation and oral reasoning skills in this competitive educational experience.

The free, virtual even will take place from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, November 22. To register visit by Nov. 16. For more information visit


Rackow Family Sausage issues recall on summer sausage

Rackow Family Sausage of Juda, Wis. issued a Class I recall for five summer sausage products due to not following state-mandated inspection protocol before distributing. The affected products are:

  • All Beef pepper cheese summer sausage with garlic and jalapenos, 0.9-lb. packages
  • All Beef pepper cheese summer sausage with garlic, green olives and jalapenos, 0.9-lb. packages
  • All Beef pepper cheese summer sausage with garlic, 0.9-lb. packages
  • All Beef pepper cheese summer sausage with garlic, jalapenos and green olives, 0.9-lb. packages
  • All Beef cheddar cheese summer sausage with garlic, 0.9-lb. packages

No illnesses have been reported yet related to the recall, but anyone who has consumed the above products and noticed symptoms of foodborne illness should contact their doctor. If you have bought any of those products, you can return them to Rackow Family Sausage or throw them away.


Farm Management update meeting for Ag professionals 

Join the UW-Madison Division of Extension to unpack 2020 and proactively plan for 2021 in the next webinar of the Farm Management Update Meeting virtual series.

The webinar will be held on November 12, 2020 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm. The focus will be on crops, farm finances, and grain marketing.

The virtual event will feature: 2020 End of Year Review: Crops and Farm Finances

presented by Paul Mitchell, Director of Renk Agribusiness Institute/Professor UW-Madison Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics; Year-End Grain Marketing Decisions presented by: John Heinberg, Stewart-Peterson.

There is no registration fee, but you must pre-register by 5:00 pm on November 11. Registration can be made online at


Iowa OKs settlement in suit sparked by 4H inclusion policy

A state panel approved a settlement between Iowa State University and a former Iowa 4-H director who was fired after a dispute over a proposed policy he supported that discouraged discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender.

The settlement with John-Paul Chaisson-Cárdenas calls for the state to pay out $550,000. Of that money, $60,000 will go to Chaisson-Cárdenas, $270,000 will go into an annuity for his benefit and $220,000 will go to Iowa civil rights attorney Roxanne Conlin, who represented him.

The settlement approved by the State Appeal Board also changes Chaisson-Cárdenas' departure in university records from a termination to a voluntary resignation.

Chaisson-Cárdenas was fired Aug. 2, 2018, months after conservative groups criticized and LGBT groups supported a suggested 4-H LGBTQ inclusion policy. The dispute resulted in hundreds of comments submitted to Iowa 4-H, court documents said.

The proposed policy would have allowed transgender 4-H members to use the bathrooms, locker rooms and overnight accommodations that correspond to their gender identity.

Just days after Iowa officials posted a draft of the policy, an official with the federal department that administers 4-H — the National Institute of Food and Agriculture — sent an email urging the policy to be dropped.

Iowa 4-H officials were also pressured to drop the policy by Christian conservative leaders, and one group threatened to file a lawsuit.

Chaisson-Cárdenas, the first Latino statewide youth 4-H leader, resisted because he was adamant that 4-H should be for all kids.


German pork trapped in EU while China rebuilds herd

Late last week, Bloomberg News reported that, “China is flying in record numbers of pigs to improve genetics and boost productivity while rapidly rebuilding the nation’s hog population after it was decimated by African swine fever.

“Some 15,346 live swine worth $32 million arrived by air in the first nine months of the year, customs data show. That’s an all-time high, according to Genesus Inc., an international genetics company. The value jumped from $3 million in all of 2019, $13 million in 2018 and $21 million in 2017, the customs data show.

China has also imported a record volume of meat this year to ease pork shortages.

The Bloomberg article noted that, “The hog population is recovering: the number of breeding sows rose 28% from a year earlier to 38 million by the end of September, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Many farms kept sows for breeding purposes, many of them originally used for meat and less productive, according to Lin Guofa, a senior analyst at Bric Agriculture Group.”

Also with respect to pork supply issues, Bloomberg writer Birgit Jennen reported on Saturday that, “Germany confirmed the first case of swine fever in the state of Saxony, signaling that the disease is spreading beyond its initial hotspot in Brandenburg.”

The Bloomberg article stated that, “A wild boar was first diagnosed with swine fever in Brandenburg on Sept. 10 and there are now 117 cases nationwide. The disease currently affects only wild boars, and no pigs have been infected, the ministry says.”

And in more recent news on the impacts African Swine Fever is having on pork supply and export variables, Reuters writers Michael Hogan and Nigel Hunt reported recently that, “Germany’s meat processors are sending pork chops and bacon previously earmarked for Asia to supermarkets across the European Union after China, South Korea and Japan banned German imports due to an outbreak of African Swine Fever in wild boars.”