Ag Briefs: DeForest man dies in farm accident

Wisconsin State Farmer
Midwest briefs


DeForest man dies in farm accident

A 46-year-old is dead following a farm accident on March 18.

According to the Dane County Medical Examiner's report, Roger Manthe of DeForest died shortly after arriving at a Madison hospital as a result of injuries he sustained while working on a a grain auger bin.

According to the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, Manthe was working on a grain auger bin in the 7700 block of U.S. Hwy. 51, in the Village of Windsor, when it fell and struck him. He was taken to UW Hospital where he later died.

Manthe’s death remains under investigation.


Fire destroys two farm buildings

Firefighters battled a barn fire early Monday morning that destroyed two buildings.

Fire crews responded around 1:30 a.m. to N10533 on Highway 151 after a passerby noticed a building was on fire, according to the Waupun Fire Department.

Crews found two buildings that were fully engulfed and a third building that was in immediate danger. Officials said firefighters knocked down the fire before it got to the third building. They had to do extensive overhaul because round bales were stored in one of the buildings. Crews were on scene for about three hours, The Reporter reported.

Officials said two buildings, a shed used to store round bales and a garage were destroyed. A pole barn used to store farm equipment had minor heat damage.


Feds depopulate Burnett Co. deer farm after CWD infection

Federal authorities have destroyed a Burnett County game farm's deer herd after one of the animals tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

State agriculture officials announced March 18 that the USDA Wildlife Services destroyed 14 deer at Schultz Whitetails on March 3. The move came after a four-year-old buck on the farm tested positive for CWD in October. State agriculture officials immediately quarantined all animals on the farm, meaning no live animals or whole carcasses were permitted to leave the property.

Tests conducted after the herd was destroyed showed no other animals were infected. The farmer owner will receive federal reimbursement for his lost herd on the condition that the farm not hold any cervids for five years. The farm also must maintain its fences and submit to routine inspections during that time. 


Sheboygan Co. barn destroyed in blaze

Sheboygan County Sheriff's officials say a barn near Waldo was a total loss following a fire over the weekend.

According to Wisconsin Ag Connection, the blaze was first reported on Sunday afternoon on a farm in the town of Lyndon. A caller had told dispatchers that sparks from a controlled burn apparently blew toward the building.

There were no animals in the barn. However, two tractors and a number of hay bales were lost in the fire. There were no injuries related to the incident.


New London 24th annual toy and craft show

The New London FFA Alumni will be holding its 24th annual Towy and Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 28 at the Crystal Falls Banquet Hall, 1500 Handschke Dr., New London.

All proceeds from the show will benefit FFA with various projects, leadership workshops, conventions and more. 

The show will feature farm scene displays, farm toys, models, books, collections, pictures along with craft items. Admission is $3 with kids under 10 being admitted free. Masks must be worn inside the venue.


Organic Valley launches national clean energy fund for its farmers

A Wisconsin-based cooperative is partnering with Clean Energy Credit Union (“Clean Energy CU”) to launch the Powering the Good Loan Fund to provide the best loan terms for farmers seeking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels with renewable energy and efficiencies.

The program is first of its kind for both cooperatives, pioneering a unique clean energy loan fund for over 1,700 farmers across the country, according to a news release.

To accelerate energy improvements, Organic Valley and Clean Energy CU will roll out a $1 million fund with plans to expand. As the nation’s largest organic, farmer-owned cooperative, Organic Valley pulls carbon out of the air through regenerative practices like rotational grazing, while also working to reduce carbon emitted wherever possible.

Loans supplied to Organic Valley farmers through Clean Energy CU will be used for: Solar electric systems to offset farm energy consumption; farm energy efficiency improvements such as plate coolers, VFDs, LED lighting, insulation, ventilation and more; and geothermal systems and ground-source heat pumps for farm heating and cooling.


Cattle found slain, dumped along Iowa gravel roads

Sheriffs in two central Iowa counties say their offices are looking for the person or people who dumped slain cattle along gravel roads in their jurisdictions. 

Two cows and a calf were found dead in Boone and Greene counties on March 10, the Ames Tribune reported. Investigators said the calf, found in Boone County, had its front legs bound with twine.

A red shorthorn cow was found a short distance away in a creek with its throat slashed, Boone County Sheriff Gregg Elsberry said. The carcass of the other cow, also a red shorthorn, was found in a Greene County ditch.

Scuff marks on the animals' hides indicated they were dumped on the roads from a vehicle, authorities said. The animals bloated condition led investigators to believe they had been dead several days.


PDPF silent auction raises over $17,000

The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation (PDPF) raised $17,030 during a silent auction held at the recent Professional Dairy Producers® (PDPW) Business Conference in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. Nearly 100 items sold at the March 17-18 event at the Kalahari Resort.

In addition to proceeds raised by the silent auction, Dairy’s Foundation is also in the midst of their annual “Plant A Seed” campaign. In the spirit of friendly competition, four teams of board members and supporters are currently vying for honors of raising the most money.

Teams Inspire, Impact, Vision and Dream are captained by Steve Vale, Russ Warmka, Sam Schwoeppe and Brian Forrest, respectively. To date, the teams have raised over $74,144 and are still collecting contributions. Those interested in supporting the cause may do so until April 30, 2021.

Dairy’s Foundation relies on cash donations to support three primary objectives: raising up the next generation of professional dairy producers, growing and maintaining public trust in dairy products and the people involved, and building the skills of dairy producers. 


UW Madison among recipients of USDA Awards

The USDA announced today an $11.5 million research investment to help ensure America’s small and medium-sized farms become more profitable and improve the quality of life in American farm communities.

“Few groups are as resilient and as determined as American farm families,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a news release. “Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is committed to creating a fairer, more equitable system for farms of all sizes to compete and remain profitable.”

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded 24 grants to 20 universities and organizations through their Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the nation’s leading and largest competitive grants program for agricultural sciences.

The University of Wisconsin, Madison received $473,756 for the program: “The Relationship between Farm Size and Farmer Opportunities to Profit from Natural Resources on their Land”.


fairlife opens new production plant in AZ

fairlife, LLC will open a new 300,000 square foot facility in Goodyear, AZ. The new 300,000 square foot facility will significantly increase production capabilities and bring hundreds of jobs to the state.

According to a news release, fairlife has partnered with the United Dairymen of Arizona  to source milk from numerous dairy farmers in the West Valley.  The new plant will use this milk to manufacture nearly all products in the fairlife portfolio, including the different varieties of fairlife ultra-filtered milk®, Core Power®, fairlife® YUP!™ and its newest protein-rich beverage, fairlife® nutrition plan.


JBS ordered to pay $3.6M fine in Brazil plant COVID outbreak

JBS has been ordered to pay $3.6m fine over Brazil plant’s Covid-19 outbreak at a Brazilian beef plant, according to a court ruling seen by Reuters.

The company were ordered to pay the fine in respect to damages related to workers’ contamination in a beef plant in São Miguel do Guaporé.

The JBS plant in northern Brazil is said to be the main source of contamination and spread of the virus there, a local judge said as he ordered the facility shut last May.

Reuters said at least 23 JBS facilities in Brazil witnessed Covid-19 outbreaks last year and the company faced at least 18 lawsuits in specialized labor courts, over the need for stricter worker protections. In January, China lifted pandemic-related bans imposed on imports from two of JBS’ meat plants in Brazil.


Japan to hike tariffs on U.S. beef as FY imports near limit

Japan is set to temporarily impose higher tariffs on U.S. beef, with imports for the fiscal year ending this month expected to exceed the maximum amount set under the Japan-U.S. trade agreement that took effect last year, Kyodo News reported.

It would be the first time the safeguard measure has been imposed on U.S. beef since August 2017, Kyodo said.

Reuters reported that Japan had imported an accumulated 233,112 tonnes of U.S. beef by the end of February, just shy of the maximum 242,000 tonnes agreed for this fiscal year, according to Japanese customs data.

With the safeguard measure, the tariff would rise to 38.5% from 25.8% for 30 days, Kyodo said, adding that lower imports from Australia due to drought had boosted demand for U.S. beef.


Measure allowing OT for farmworkers moves forward

Agricultural workers in Washington state would become eligible for overtime pay under a bill moving through the Legislature in Olympia.

The bill enjoys bipartisan support and even has the backing of farm employers who say it will bring a level of certainty to their labor costs. Farmworkers have been exempted from overtime pay since 1938, although some states such as California and New York have extended those protections in recent years, the Associated Press reported.

The state ranks in the top 10 nationally in the size of the farm labor force. 


Iowa officials find animal parts strewn across 2 fields

Environmental officials are considering what actions to take against a southwestern Iowa feedlot after finding animal parts from slaughtered cattle strewn across two open fields.

The Iowa DNR said its staff discovered the gore Monday upon responding to several complaints against Feedlot Service Company, located about 3 miles southeast of Neola.

According to Associated Press, DNR staff reported finding cattle hides, tails, hooves, bellies, hearts and other part spread as well as paunch manure — or the partially-digested stomach contents of slaughtered livestock — on two fields totaling about 160 acres.

Improper animal disposal can spread disease and endanger human and animal health. 

The feedlot owner indicated he has a state license to apply paunch manure, which is the partially-digested stomach contents of slaughtered cattle, to his land. But the DNR said that would not include dead animal parts.

The DNR is working with the feedlot owner to excavate and remove dead animal parts from both fields and directed him to stop runoff from reaching the creek.