Ag Briefs: WI cheese co. selling 20-year-old cheddar at $209/lb.

Wisconsin State Farmer
Agricultural Briefs


WI cheese co. selling 20-year-old cheddar at $209/lb.

Hook's Cheese Company is selling a limited edition cheddar for $209 per pound. Tony Hook is set to debut a 20-year cheddar at a free attendance cheese cutting event on May 8. The cheddar will be available for purchase May 15 in a limited batch, but the company is taking pre-orders now at

The high price is said to be due to the time and labor that aging a cheese for two decades takes. Cheese most often found in grocery stores is aged from 3 months to 2 years. The Mineral Point Chamber of Commerce told KFIZ that the cheese is so rare, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack of cheese. A previous release of a similar cheese by Hooks saw all 450 lbs. sold in 2 days. The cutting ceremony will start at 5:00 p.m. May 8.


WPVGA lobbying for funds for center

The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association is lobbying state lawmakers to earmark funding in the establishment of a Food and Farm Exploration Center. The proposed center aims to provide a platform for sustainable agriculture education, research, and outreach to support the state's farming communities.

According to WPVGA, the center would offer programs and resources for farmers, educators, and students to learn about sustainable agriculture practices and techniques. It will also serve as a hub for research on crop and soil science, food safety, and other related areas.


Dane Co. to receive $1M for Demonstration Farm Network

The Dane County Land & Water Resources Department (LWRD) has partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through a five-year cooperative agreement totaling $1 million, County Executive Joe Parisi announced in a news release.

LWRD will utilize these funds/financial resources to establish a Demonstration Farm Network in Dane County in collaboration with local farmers.


JBS to settle over US beef price-fixing claims

Brazilian meat giant JBS has agreed to pay $25m to commercial beef buyers after being accused of keeping prices artificially high.

The plaintiffs argued JBS was part of “a conspiracy to artificially constrict the supply of beef products in the domestic market of the United States”.

On Friday (14 April), the Minnesota federal court disclosed the proposed settlement, which included the allegations that defendants, including JBS, Cargill and Tyson Foods, agreed to reduce live cattle purchasing and slaughter volumes to keep prices high, according to Just Food.


$1.6M in grants awarded in the Commercial Nitrogen Optimization pilot program

Gov. Tony Evers and WI DATCP announced that 20 recipients were awarded grant funding for the 2023 Commercial Nitrogen Optimization Pilot Program (NOPP). These grants aim to refine and enhance the understanding of new methods that optimize commercial nitrogen applied to agricultural fields, helping to protect vital soil and water resources.

DATCP received 31 funding applications totaling more than $2.1 million in requests. Projects, totaling nearly $1.6 million, were funded. The largest grant of $246,926 was awarded to Dodge Co. Farmers for Healthy Soil & Water, involving 13 producers.


Campbellsport FFA Alumni holds tractor raffle

The Campbellsport FFA Alumni is holding a raffle to raise funds for support of the Campbellsport High School agriculture program. Tickets can be purchased for a 1966 International 504 gas tractor with a 3-point, original top link and power steering or $4000. Other cash prizes will be awarded. Drawing for the tractor will be held on Oct. 7, 2023 at the annual Campbellsport FFA Crop Show.

The tractor was donated by the Millin Family. Tickets are $5.00 each or 5 for $20. Secure tickets from Chris Hinn at 920-922-5978. Only 5000 tickets are available. Proceeds help with travel expenses, educational seminars and facility support for the Campbellsport FFA and Ag Program.orted.


Ukraine welcomes EU deal on continued farm exports

Ukraine has welcomed the European Union’s hard-fought deal to keep farm exports flowing into and through the bloc to world markets. The 27-nation EU ended a damaging internal standoff over a destabilizing glut of Ukraine farm imports late Friday by granting five member countries the right to temporarily ban the most problematic produce while allowing all farm products to transit onward.

Resolving the issue allows the EU to maintain a unified stance in the face of Russia’s invasion of its neighbor. Ukraine says the Middle East and Africa stand to benefit the most. The deal allows Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania to keep wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds out of their local markets.


Two Midwest turkey farms latest to see deadly bird flu outbreak

Highly pathogenic avian influenza was detected in a Beadle County commercial turkey meat bird farm on April 26, according to data from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Producers will be forced to cull a total of 75,800 birds.

This is the third confirmed case of bird flu in the state in 2023 and its largest detection so far, according to the Argus Leader.

Based on previous reporting, Beadle County culled 410,300 HPAI-affected birds in commercial flocks last year. More than double the number of birds have been affected in South Dakota compared to the second deadliest avian influenza outbreak between 2014 and 2015. Also on Wednesday, APHIS data confirmed bird flu was detected at a Dickey County commercial turkey flock.