Ag Briefs: USDA aims to support food sovereignty with Menominee tribe of WI

Wisconsin State Farmer
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USDA aims to support food sovereignty with Menominee tribe of Wisconsin

The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has signed a cooperative agreement with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the tribe seeks to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.

With the LFPA funds, the tribe will coordinate the procurement of indigenous foods for the Tribal Elder Food Box Program as well as additional purchases to distribute among other communities. The purchased foods will include indigenous and conventional foods from producers, such as white fish, bison, beef, wild rice, apples, and produce.


Register now for 3rd annual Burgers & Buns Fun Run

Registration is open for the 3rd Annual Burgers and Buns Fun Run at the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center on Sat., May 20 and virtually throughout May with proceeds benefitting Feeding Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Beef Council is once again partnering with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center for this event celebrating May Beef Month. In 2022, the race raised $4,500 for Feeding Wisconsin to help purchase beef for families in need.

The race kicks off at the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center during Beef Fest on May 20. Attendees can check-in at 9:00 a.m. to pick up their race kits. Those who cannot attend can lace up anytime in May for a virtual fun run. Virtual entrants will be mailed their race kits.

To guarantee a complete race kit, participants need to register by May 1. For more information, visit


Farm Management Update for Ag Professionals set

The Farm Management Update workshop will be held Fri., April 28 at the Doubletree by Hilton, 150 S Nicolet Rd., Appleton. The event is cooperatively sponsored by the UW-Madison and Division of Extension offices in northeast Wisconsin.

Topics for the event include: ag economy/grain market indicator; '23 crop budgets; on-farm Extension research; dairy pricing update, forecast and more. The program is open to all farms, agriculture professionals, and other interested persons. There is a $40 registration fee, which includes lunch and materials.  Pre-registration is required, preferably by April 21. The program flyer can be downloaded at For more information call 920-832-1859 or 715-732-7510.


DeLaval invests in its automatic milking facility

DeLaval plans to increase its production capacity of automatic milking machines to meet rising customer demand.Automatic milking continues to grow across the world. At the same time, DeLaval has seen a positive customer response to the DeLaval VMS™ V300-series of automatic milking robots. For these two reasons, DeLaval is making an investment to increase its production capacity of automatic milking systems by 50%.

To meet demand, the VMS production facility in Sweden will increase its efficiency by using optimized and automated flows. The planning phase is ongoing, and the ambition is to have the new VMS facility set up and ready within the existing space for VMS manufacturing at the Tumba factory by 2024.


Changes proposed for the U.S. Standards for Soybeans

The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced that the Federal Grain Inspection Service has published a proposed rule seeking public comment on amendments to the U.S. Standards for Soybeans that would remove “Soybeans of Other Colors” (SBOC) as a grading factor for determining soybean quality. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on March 31, 2023.

Historically, SBOC levels are low, rarely impacting the grade of soybeans. In 2021 and 2022, the soybean industry experienced an increased presence of SBOC, which made it more difficult for shippers of U.S. soybeans to meet contract grade requirements.


Strawberry patent infringement unsuccessful for Driscoll's

A strawberry patent infringement lawsuit against the former chief of a breeding institute hasn't borne fruit and is running out of steam.The case stems from an underlying dispute between the University of California, Davis, and Douglas Shaw, in which a federal jury found Shaw stole plants to kickstart his strawberry startup. The jury eventually decided that Shaw infringed on nine strawberry patents. Under a settlement, Shaw agreed to return certain plants and seeds and allow UC Davis to test future varieties, according to FreshPlaza.

Apart from all this, now Driscoll's says it was a victim of theft also, contending that Shaw used at least four of its patented varieties. Driscoll's sued Shaw and his startup, but a judge called the lawsuit 'vague'.


New Mexico boosts chile production

New Mexico produced more than 53,000 tons of its most famous crop during the last growing season, meaning more chile peppers found their way into salsas and onto dinner plates than the previous year.

Associated Press reported that state and federal agriculture officials rolled out the latest numbers this week as New Mexico’s governor signed legislation establishing the sweet smell of green chile roasting in the fall as the state’s official aroma.

New Mexico's love affair with the hot peppers runs deep. Chile is one of the official state vegetables and it forms the basis of the state's official question: “Red or Green?”