Ag Briefs: Hobart man faces prison for arson

Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin briefs


AWF to undergo $1.7M expansion, creating 10 jobs

American Wood Fibers, Inc. (AWF), an animal bedding manufacturer, is adding a production line to its operations in Schofield – a $1.7 million project expected to create 10 jobs over the next three years while turning paper fiber waste into valuable product, according to WEDC.

WEDC is supporting the project by authorizing up to $56,000 in state income tax credits over the next three years. 

The new production line is in a building across the street from AWF’s original Schofield facility. It will convert paper waste — in the form of pure paper fiber — into paper pellet absorbents for animal cages. AWF will purchase the fiber from a Wisconsin-based tissue manufacturer, take it to Schofield and decontaminate, dry, pelletize and package it.


Hobart man faces prison for arson

A Hobart man is expected to be sentenced to 10 to 15 years in federal prison this week for setting three fires, including one to cover up the theft of money from his employer.

James T. Ambrosius, 25, admitted to setting a total of three blazes that were labeled "arson of a building used in interstate commerce." He had originally been charged in state court with setting eight fires, four of which involved barns, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.

Ambrosius also admitted to starting a fire on July 20, 2020 at Lazy S Farm in Hobart, stating that the farm's owner owed him $3,000; Nov. 3, 2020: Starting a fire in which he said cattle died at a farm in Hobart, because he didn't like the kids; Sept. 21, 2020: Starting a fire in an empty barn in Hobart and setting fire to another farm on Aug. 7, 2018, on Orlando Drive, a property belonging to his aunt and uncle. 


Wis. Cattlemen's Assoc. Summer Tour set for June 18

The Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association (WCA) is partnering with the Northern Wisconsin Beef Producers Association (NWBPA) for the 2022 Summer Tour in the Menomonie area on Sat., June 18.

The first stop on the tour is K-Lund Angus Farm near Woodville, Wis. K-Lund is a commercial cow-calf operation with 170 pairs of Angus females. At this stop, cattlemen will learn practical tips about building facilities and managing cow herds that they can take back to their home operations.

The second stop is SKOR Cattle Co., Clear Lake, Wis. The facility was designed to raise top-quality genetics with very little pasture and farmland. Cattlemen will learn about confinement cow-calf operations and best management practices. The annual NWBPA picnic will be held during this time.

The final stop will be at ALCIVIA – Menomonie Feed Mill, a leading, member-owned agricultural and energy cooperative. The mill was built in 2017 and features pelleting, texturizing, and flaking capabilities, while also making customized feeds such as mineral.

Registration is $50 for WCA members, $100 for non-members. To register visit


FDL Co. Twilight Meeting set for June 14

Fond du Lac County Forage Council will be hosting its Twilight Meeting Tuesday, June 14, at Pollack-Vu Dairy, N7160 Pollack Rd., Ripon. Guests will be treated to a buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. courtesy of sponsors. followed by the program at 7:15p.m.

Bill Eberle, account manager at Chr Hansen Animal Health, will present "The actual Reality of Managing People”. He discuss managing and retaining workers on farms and techniques on management styles.


WCIA seed lab achieves USDA accreditation

The Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association (WCIA) announced that its Seed Laboratory has achieved accreditation by the USDA Accredited Seed Laboratory (ASL) program.

Gaining ASL accreditation highlights the accuracy, quality, and reliability of test reports and other quality- and compliance-related services offered by WCIA. Successful completion of the rigorous ASL accreditation program is another milestone attained by WCIA over the course of its 121-year history.

WCIA Executive Director John Petty says this value-added benefit expands business opportunities for its customers and elevates WCIA’s standing as one of the premier seed certification agencies in the nation.

One of the key advantages of ASL accreditation for Seed Laboratory customers will be easier access to foreign markets. Next month, WCIA will be completing the requirements for the USDA-administered Canadian Seed Grader Program.


Ukraine's third largest export terminal destroyed by Russian military

After last week saying it was open to allowing grain exports via “humanitarian corridors” from Ukrainian ports, the Russian military destroyed a major Ukrainian grain export terminal in Mykolaiv (southern Ukraine) Farm Journal reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin claims Russia's actions in Ukraine "have nothing to do" with the looming global energy and food crisis and has instead blamed Western economic policies. He also blamed European countries for not listening "to our urgent requests to preserve long-term contracts for the supply [of natural gas]" — another factor that he said led to inflation.

Before Russia’s invasion, around 98% of Ukraine’s grain exports would flow from ports on the Black Sea. However, those ports have been shut by a Russian naval blockade, and warehouses, rail yards and other key export infrastructure have been targeted and damaged by Russian attacks. Despite the war, Ukraine’s farms are expected to produce around 30 million tons of wheat, corn and other food commodities this year, the Wall Street Journal reports.


WI FFA Safe Tractor Operators contest registration open

Registrations are being taken for the 2022 WI FFA Safe Tractor Operators contest during the 2022 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days Site in Clark County at the Roehl Acres Farm, Loyal.Wis. 

The contest will be offered to FFA members on both Tues., July 12 and Wed., July 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There will be no section qualifying event again this year.   Any member that would like to compete at the state level contest is welcome to sign up.

More information about the site and show can be found at  


Name change for MOSES

An education and technical assistance organization for organic farmers has changed its name. The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service or MOSES is now called Marbleseed, Brownfield Ag News reported. 

In a statement, Marbleseed says after more than thirty years, they are in the awkward position of being the victims of their own organic education success, claiming consumer demand for organics has increased by double-digits but market capture by industrialized food and farming means little of the demand is reaching small and mid-scale farmers. 

The group says they remain committed to growing the number of thriving small and mid-scale organic and sustainable farms and fighting the barriers farmers face when entering the organic movement, especially farmers of color, veterans, and LGBTQ farmers.


Final movement restrictions lifted in areas impacted by bird flu

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has released three zones in Barron County where poultry movement restrictions were put in place to prevent the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). All restricted zones in Wisconsin have now been released.

The statewide special order prohibiting the movement of all domestic birds to events where they commingle with other birds and then disperse remains in effect. This order is separate from the restricted zones and remains in effect until 30 days following the last detection of HPAI in domestic flocks.

Flocks in 14 counties have tested positive for HPAI. 


Folk Song Farm presents Farm to Table dinner event

 Folk Song Farm Events LLC will host a Farm-to-Table event Sunday, June 12, in the historical barn at 4811 Pioneer Rd., Richfield, Wis. 

Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served beginning at 4:30 pm. Live music will and horse-drawn wagon rides will be available. At 5:30 pm guests will be served a five-course family-style meal prepared by the owner of Prime Minister Catering of Thiensville, Wis., dinner will include Greek-style items featuring locally grown and sourced ingredients.


Kubota to invest $140M in new Georgia factory

A Japanese equipment maker plans to spend $140 million on a new factory in Georgia, adding 500 workers to the 3,000 it already employs in the northeastern part of the state.

Kubota Corp. says the new factory will make front-end loaders, opening in Gainesville in 2024. The company already makes loaders in Jefferson, 30 miles away. Officials say they will shift production to Gainesville to open capacity in Jefferson to make other attachments and implements for tractors and construction equipment. Kubota opened a $90 million research and development facility in Gainesville in April, Associated Press reported.


U.S., Taiwan to begin trade talks

The U.S. and Taiwan announced they soon will begin negotiations on improving their economic and trade relationship. Representatives from the two countries are expected to meet later this month.

NPPC reported that the “U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade” will help facilitate more trade, including agricultural trade and trade by small and medium enterprises; advocate sound, transparent trade regulations; establish anti-corruption standards; support the environment and climate action; and address “non-market” policies and practices that could be hindering trade.

The announcement comes a week after the Biden administration launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, an Asia-Pacific trade initiative that does not include Taiwan. 


North Dakota farmer out jail, remains in Ukraine

A North Dakota farmer who had been jailed in Ukraine since November has been released from custody, yet still remains in the eastern European country.

Sen. John Hoeven says work continues in regards to "fair treatment and safety" of Kurt Groszhans, who was arrested on charges he plotted to assassinate Ukraine's then-agriculture minister, Roman Leschenko.

Groszhans' family has said the charges are false and aimed at silencing his claims of corruption in Ukraine. Groszhans, of Ashley, decided in 2017 to move to Ukraine, where his ancestors are from. His family said he invested a large sum of money to get a farming operation up and running, Associated Press reported.ort of the organization’s long-desired quest to rebrand. After deep conversations amongst the staff and Board of Directors, “Marbleseed” emerged as the new name for MOSES, along with the tagline farmer-led, rooted in organic.