Ag Briefs: Lawmakers challenge Biden's WOTUS rule

Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin briefs


New London FFA Alumni hosting Toy and Craft Show

The New London FFA Alumni will be holding its 26th annual Toy and Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 2, at New London Middle School, 1000 West Washington St., New London. Showgoers are invited to buy, sell, trade and display cars, dolls, farm toys, trucks, model horses, farm scenes and more. Awards will be presented to outstanding exhibits.

Dealer setup is from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Admission is $3 per person with those under 10 being admitted free. Food will be available for purchase. For more information contact Joe Wettstein at 920-538-0292.


WFBF to host food processing tour at Alsum Farms 

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation invites farmers and agriculturists to attend the Leaders of the Land Food Processing Tour on April 21 at Alsum Farms & Produce Inc. in Friesland. The tour will offer different perspectives regarding environmental stewardship across Wisconsin. During the tours attendees will learn what food processors and preparers are doing to be responsible stewards of their resources.  

Alsum Farms & Produce Inc. is a leading fresh market grower, packer and shipper of Wisconsin-grown potatoes, onions and provider of fresh, quality produce for national retailers like Aldi and Costco, as well as independent grocery stores. 

Pre-registration is preferred. Registration is $20 for Farm Bureau members and non-members. Lunch will be provided. To register, visit


Quam to serve on Cattlemen's Beef Board

The USDA announced that Terry Quam of Lodi, WI, will serve on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board. He is the fourth generation on Marda Angus Farms, which runs 250 purebred Angus cows with 900 acres of cropland. This is his second term. Quam joins three other Wisconsin residents on the board: Arin Crooks, Lancaster, Steve Spreinger, Linden and Tammy Wiedenbeck, Lancaster.


Fiocchi joins WFBF staff

Tim Fiocchi has been hired as the Senior Director of Governmental Relations by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. Fiocchi has over two decades of legislative experience, most recently as Chief of Staff to State Sen. Jerry Petrowski, serving Marathon, Taylor, Rusk and Sawyer counties. He has extensive experience working on agricultural, transportation and local government issues.

Fiocchi will manage WFBF’s state-level governmental relations functions, which will support Farm Bureau members and advocate for policy on their behalf.


Chippewa Valley launches its first Burger Week

The Wisconsin Beef Council teamed up with Volume One to create the first Chippewa Valley Burger Week, Mar. 17-26. The WBC approached Volume One after finding success with Madison Burger Week. The event will feature 18 participating restaurants spread across Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, and Altoona. For more information about deals and new burgers, visit week.


WI Jersey Spring Spectacular returns May 5-6

The 24th Annual Wisconsin Jersey Spring Spectacular will return to the Vernon County Fairgrounds in Viroqua, Wis. May 5-6. The show will feature registered Jersey cattle from across the Midwest.

Matt Sloan will judge the 2023 show. Entry forms will be released shortly. There will be a $20 exhibitor fee and a $10 per animal charge for entries postmarked on or before April 21. Entries postmarked April 22-28 will be $25. Following that deadline, the price will rise to $100, and exhibitors can pay at the show.

Showmanship begins on Friday, May 5 at 3:00 p.m. The cattle show will start with winter heifers at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 6. The Wisconsin Jersey Spring Spectacular will include a silent auction that contributes to the operation of the show. The committee is also accepting sponsors from individuals, organizations, and businesses.

For more information about donations or entries, contact Karla Peterson by phone/text at 608-606-1818, or email at


Promoting ag tourism in roadside campaign

A new roadside campaign to promote Wisconsin’s farmers has been announced by the Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Association. The signage will promote the state's diverse ag offerings from petting zoos, to cranberry bogs to Christmas tree farms.

Large red signs equipped with QR codes will be placed at 28 different rest stops as part of the campaign. The code will direct visitors to nearby farms and other agricultural tourism experiences.

The Agricultural Tourism Association wants Wisconsin to be known as America’s agricultural tourism destination, celebrating the stories behind Wisconsin’s producers and an industry that brings in $104.8 billion to the state every year.


Lawmakers challenge Biden's WOTUS rule

The U.S. House has voted to block the Biden administration’s Waters of the U.S. Rule. House Joint Resolution #27 passed last week by a vote of 227 to 198, with nine members not voting, Brownfield reported.  The bill advances to the Democrat-controlled Senate, and if it survives there, faces a promised veto from President Biden. That means the House would need 62 additional supporters to reach 289 total votes or the two-thirds majority to override the Presidential veto.


Farmer sentiment dips in February

The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer dipped 5 points to a reading of 125 in February. Farmers’ perspectives regarding both current conditions on their farms and their expectations for the future also weakened. The Index of Current Conditions fell 2 points to 134 and the Index of Future Expectations declined 6 points to 121.

Increased concern over the risk of falling output prices, rising interest rates, and uncertainty over the future growth of U.S. agricultural exports is weighing on producers’ minds. The Ag Economy Barometer is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey. This month’s survey was conducted between Feb. 13-17.


Almond hull feed trial to reduce methane emissions in dairy cows

Olam Food Ingredients will soon start a trial that will see almond hulls and shells repurposed into a nutritious feed source for dairy cows in New Zealand. Using this by-product of almond processing has the potential to help reduce both methane emissions and input costs on farms, according to Dairy Global.

According to Paul Johnson, general manager of milk supply for OFI New Zealand, almond hulls are a proven source of nutrition for dairy cows. The feed will be supplemented with Agolin Ruminant, which has the potential benefit of reducing methane emissions and increasing the feed conversion rate, which in turn will support milk yields.