Ag Briefs: Man dies in crash with farm implement

Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin briefs


Man dies in crash with farm implement

 A 37-year-old Algoma man died on Aug. 6 after the pickup truck he was driving collided with the back of a farm implement on Kewaunee County AB.

The crash was reported shortly before 4:40 p.m. A haybine was traveling north on AB when it was struck in the rear by a pickup truck driven by Jeremy J. Garrett just south of Kewaunee County S, fatally injuring the pickup driver. Garrett died at the scene.

The pickup had been moving "at a significant speed," Chief Deputy Jason Veeser told the Green Bay Press Gazette. The Wisconsin State Patrol is investigating.


Walworth Co. to host '23 Alice in Dairyland finals

Walworth County will host the 76th Alice in Dairyland finals May 11-13, 2023. The county most recently held the finals virtually in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The 76th Alice in Dairyland Finals planning committee invites individuals from Walworth County and surrounding communities with an interest in donating their time or resources to contact 76th Alice in Dairyland Finals Committee Chairperson Susan Earle at

The selection of the 76th Alice in Dairyland will take place on May 13, 2023. The Alice in Dairyland interview process includes the three-day finals event each May, as well as a two-day briefing event several weeks earlier. These events include press conferences, agribusiness tours, interviews with local media, and speeches. Some of the finale events are open to the public and include opportunities to showcase the host county’s local businesses and products.


New Outreach Specialist to focus on financial and risk management 

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of Extension announced that Katie Wantoch is the new Extension Farm Management Outreach Specialist and Professor of Practice focused on farm business financial and risk management. 

This position is new, and Wantoch will identify needs and provide outreach and education for solutions to the most critical issues facing Wisconsin agricultural producers in the areas of farm financial and risk management.

In her new role, Wantoch will leverage her 12 years of experience in the field to enhance the competitiveness of farms and the agricultural industry across Wisconsin. ““I am looking forward to improving the resiliency of hard-working farmers in the state of Wisconsin in my new role,” she said.


Judge warns utilities of power line gamble

A federal judge has declined to stop construction of a controversial power line between Iowa and Wisconsin while warning there’s no guarantee it can cross the Mississippi River as planned.

U.S. District Judge William Conley denied a request Thursday by power line opponents to halt construction of the 102-mile line from Dubuque to Middleton, saying he has no authority over what the utilities do on private land, Wisconsin State Journal reported.

But Conley cautioned the utilities building the more than $500 million project that they are risking ratepayer money and he will not allow them to build in protected areas “simply because the transmission companies plowed ahead with ground-clearing without assurances that the fish and wildlife crossing will be approved.”


Multi-species pasture walk set for Aug. 27 in Polk Co.

The NW Wisconsin Graziers Network, Wisconsin Farmers Union and UW-Madison Extension are inviting the public to a multi-species pasture walk hosted by Johnson Family Pastures LLC, 860 315th Ave., east of Frederic in Polk County on Sat., Aug. 27 from 10:00AM-12:30PM, with lunch to follow.

This educational event will emphasize direct marketing, multi-species, full-time family agriculture and silvopasture development. The Johnson's raise grass fed beef steers, hair sheep, and heritage-breed hogs. The meat is marketed directly to customers. The farm consists of about 160 acres  Use of long-term farm transition strategies, cost-share programs, silvopasture development plans, farrow-to-finish hog production, custom grazing stockers, cattle handling facility and bale grazing will be discussed along with answering any and all questions from pasture walk participants.

An extensive and diversified direct marketing program has been developed by Tamara and Chris that includes farmer markets, email lists, newsletters, website ordering, on-farm freezer storage, and other strategies and tools to support direct sales and services for their customers.  Come and learn all about their successful approach.

For more information, contact Chris at 920-960-4475,  Michael Geissinger , the Polk County UW-Madison Extension Regional Crops Educator, at 651-302-6520, or Lynn Johnson 715-225-9882 at NW Graziers.


Brookfield East H.S. student wins state park sticker contest

Brookfield East High School senior Brooke Salomone is the winner of the 2023 Wisconsin State Park and Forest vehicle admission sticker design contest winner.

Her design features a compass with different recreational themes available throughout Wisconsin’s state park system. The winning design will be printed on state park and forest annual vehicle admission stickers and will be displayed on more than 500,000 vehicles, the DNR reported.

The second place winner is Evan Saunders, of Waupaca and third place Yushan Zeng of South Milwaukee.. Honorable Mentions are: Chase Reyer, Oshkosh North; Madeleine Alderks, iForward Wisconsin; Nyla Stelsel, Waupun; Grace Horky, Cedarburg; Lydia Ashbrenner, Merrill; Kenny Power, Xavier; and Ronan Wolfe, Watertown.


Can railroad strike be avoided?

Agriculture leaders are hoping the class one railroads and their employees can avert a national strike before September 15th. Ag groups say a work stoppage, especially around harvest would be detrimental to producers.

Tom Bressner with the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association says a railroad strike would have a big impact on agriculture, starting with western livestock operations. 

Bressner tells Brownfield it’s not just agriculture that would be affected, since rail accounts for about 30% of all transportation, and shifting to more trucks is not a viable option. “Short-haul trucks are great but not nearly as efficient on the long haul if you can put it on the train, so it’s going to add tremendous cost, even if you can get the trucks in the first place.”

President Biden appointed a three-person Presidential Emergency Board on July 18th to work with the railroads and the unions to come up with a proposal by mid-August.  Then, the two sides have until September 15th to accept or reject the board’s proposal.  At that point, the unions can vote to strike, and owners can have lockouts if they choose unless Congress intervenes.


Crowley to receive WALSAA Daluge Red Jacket award

Continuing with its newest tradition, the Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA) will present the sixth WALSAA Daluge Red Jacket Award at their Football Fire-Up event on Sept. 10.  This year’s recipient is the late Jim Crowley, Jr.

Crowley was named this year’s recipient because of his dedication and service to WALSAA for many years.  He served on the WALSAA Board for six years and was president of the organization from 2002-03. Crowley was an active member of WALSAA and served the organization as a key planner of the WALSAA Football Fire-Up tailgate event for 25 years. 

BEIRUT, Lebanon

Lebanon clears ship Ukraine says is carrying stolen grain

Judicial officials say Lebanon’s prosecutor general has granted permission for a Syrian ship said to be carrying Ukrainian grain stolen by Russia to leave a port in the country’s north.

The move comes after an investigation showed the vessel was not carrying stolen goods. The officials added, however, that the Laodicea may not immediately leave the port of Tripoli because a judge ordered it not to sail for 72 hours at the request of Ukrainian authorities.

The Laodicea is carrying 5,000 tons of flour and 5,000 tons of barley that Ukraine’s embassy in Beirut says was illegally taken by Russia.


World Beef Expo now accepting entries for 2022

Entries are now being accepted for the 2022 World Beef Expo, which will take place Sept. 22-25, 2022 at Wisconsin State Fair Park. This year World Beef Expo will be celebrating their 30th anniversary.

World Beef Expo welcomes all breeds of beef cattle for both the open and junior shows. Visit  for more information and to register.

World Beef Expo will have Open Shows on Thursday and Friday, and on Saturday the Collegiate and Youth Livestock Judging Contest followed by the Youth Showmanship Contest. The day concludes with a Prospect Steer Show, Breed Market Steer Shows and a Crossbred Animal Show.

The event concludes with a Junior Heifer Show with all Breed Champions and Reserve Champions competing for the Overall Top Five Heifers. An indoor/outdoor trade show and silent auction will also be held during the Expo.


Alliant Energy introduces new 'Smart Hours' program

Eligible Wisconsin customers can now enroll in the Alliant Energy® Smart Hours program to save on energy bills and earn rewards. This new program helps customers with a smart thermostat lower their energy usage when demand spikes, and rewards participants with seasonal benefits for participating.

Kari Gehrke, of Alliant Energy says the program allows customers to personalize their temperature preferences and increase the flexibility of their heating and cooling systems.

By enrolling in Alliant Energy’s Smart Hours program, participants allow Alliant Energy to adjust their smart thermostat a few degrees – based on the customers’ preferred comfort levels – during occasional periods of extreme temperatures. While customers can always control their thermostats, Alliant Energy finds the best times to shift some energy use to periods when energy demand is lower. By cooling or heating the home at different times of the day, customers stay comfortable and reduce the overall energy demand.