Ag Briefs: 14YO cow breaks lifetime milk record

Wisconsin State Farmer
Agricultural Briefs


14YO cow breaks lifetime milk record

A new U.S. Registered Holstein cow recently broke the record for most lifetime milk. Nor-Bert Colby Connie, owned by Nor-Bert Farm in Bremen, Ind. anachieved this feat with her lifetime milk production record of 486,300 lbs. through her latest completed lactation. 

Holstein Association USA reported that Connie, 94 3E, has calved again and is continuing to add to the record total.


Spring fieldwork ahead of schedule

Thanks to seasonal temperatures, farmers across the state were able to put in four days of fieldwork for the week ending May 7, 2023, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Spring tillage was reported as 40% complete, four days ahead of last year.

While corn planting was 14% complete, planting progress was five days behind the average. Soybean planting was 11% complete, 3 days ahead of last year. Thirty-eight percent of the expected oat crop has been planted, with 14% of the crop emerged.

Potato planting was reported as 47% complete, and winter wheat condition was rated 72% good to excellent statewide, down 2 percent from last week. All hay condition was reported 61% good to excellent.


Nominations ppen for WFBF’s Heroes of Hope campaign

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is once again recognizing rural neighbors through its Heroes of Hope campaign.

Heroes of Hope is focused on shedding light on rural heroes who have helped others through a tough time – i.e., helping harvest crops while going through a tough time, providing positivity in their day-to-day careers, uplifting other farmers to get through a tough season, etc. Members of the agricultural community are encouraged to nominate individuals who have made an impact on the way they conduct business, both ordinarily and extraordinarily.

Heroes of Hope will recognize five individuals who have helped a neighbor with generous prize packages donated from sponsors. These heroes also will have their stories told through WFBF’s Rural Route magazine. Nominations are now open through May 19 and winners will be announced May 31.

Nominations are being accepted until May 19 and are available at


Gene-edited pigs OK'd to enter food chain

Washington State University researchers will help make history after receiving FDA "investigational" authorization to have their gene-edited pigs enter the food chain for human consumption, Farm Journal reported.

Researchers at WSU used the gene-editing tool CRISPR to improve genetic traits in five pigs. The FDA authorization is investigational, and limited to these particular pigs, but the university says this shows that gene-editing livestock to quickly produce desirable traits for improved food production is a viable strategy for helping feed the planet’s growing population.


State cranberry, tart cherry production up

Wisconsin cranberry production totaled 4.84 million barrels in 2022, compared to 4.17 million barrels in2021, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts 2022Summary. The state's cranberry growers harvested 20,300 acres, down 300 acres from last year. Average yieldper acre, at 238.2 barrels, was up 18% from last year's 202.2 barrels. The price of cranberries was down 3%from 2021 to $38.70 per barrel.

The total value of utilized production was $187 million dollars. Processed cranberries accounted for 96% of the state's utilized cranberry production. Wisconsin maintained its number one ranking in total cranberry production with 60% of the nation's total.

The state's tart cherry production totaled 12.9 million pounds in 2022, up 23% from 2021 production levels, according to the report. Wisconsin's bearing acreage was estimated at 1,700 acres, up 300 acres from last year. Average yield per acre, at 7,590 lbs. was up 90 lbs. from last year. The overall average price decreased 41.7 cents per pound to 20.3 cents per pound in 2022. The value of Wisconsin's utilized tart cherry crop totaled $2.63 million in 2022.


2 Dodge Co. farm buildings destroyed in fires

Firefighters were busy battling two blazes in Dodge County that destroyed two farm buildings. According to the Waupun Fire Department, firefighters were called to the report of a barn fire on W6991 Oakwood Rd. around 1:10 p.m. May 7. The barn, which was used for storage and contained no animals, was deemed a total loss.

Beaver Dam firefighters responded to a shed fire at the former Crystal Creek Dairy on Highway 33 on May 9. A handful of chicks were inside the structure at the time of the fire. Both fires remain under investigation.


Lenzmeier named 2023 WI Distinguished Agriculturalist at UW-RF

David Lenzmeier has been named the 2023 Wisconsin Distinguished Agriculturalist by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Lenzmeier is CEO of Milk Specialties Global and an alumnus of UWRF.

Lenzmeier’s career progressed from being a student worker in the UWRF dairy plant to CEO of Milk Specialties Global, who makes the time to meet with UWRF students touring the facilities.

In 2013, Lenzmeier was named one of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurs of the Year for the Upper Midwest. He and his wife own Stickney Hill Dairy.


7th annual Kickin’ It with the Cows event registration open

Registration is now open for the 7th Annual Kickin’ It with the Cows 5K Run/Walk10K Run/WalkVirtual 5K Run/WalkVirtual 10K Virtual Run/Walk and ¼ Mile Kids’ Run, The event is set for Aug. 12 at Wrightstown High School, 600 High St. Participants who register before July 15 receive a complimentary logoed race T-shirt.

Following the race there will be a Fun Family Festival for all participants that includes snacks, ice cream, games, a bouncy house and the opportunity to pet and interact with live calves. Proceeds from the events benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

To register or sign up to volunteer for any of the race day events, visit


Here's your sign

The familiar bright triangle-shaped sign warning motorists of a slow moving vehicle are free to farmers thanks to a partnership of the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute’s National Farm Medicine Center, Rural Mutual Insurance Company, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program, the family of Mike Biadasz and the Auction of Champions.

The signs are being distributed free of cost to Wisconsin farmers in hopes that the improved visibility will save lives on pubic roadways, said Bryan Weichelt, Ph.D., an associate research scientist with the National Farm Medicine Center and program director of, OnFocus reported.

Limited quantities of signs are available now at Marathon Feed in Marathon, and ProVision Partners in Stratford, Auburndale and Hixton. In addition, Rural Mutual will distribute signs at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, July 18-20, in Baraboo.


WI Ag Youth Council members tapped

Randy Romanski, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection named the fourth Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council. Members serving on the council will be seniors this fall and will serve a one-year term. Council members include: Chance Austin, Milton; Josie Bailey, Tomah; Elizabeth Colburn, Viroqua; Lilah Feyen , East Troy; Tyson Gehrke, Stitzer; Logan Guilette, Casco; Abel Kooima, Waupun; Emi McCarville, Mineral Point; Samuel Mell, Waunakee; Sonya Merrit, Arpin; Layten Sobieski, Berlin; Emily Sydow, Columbus; Allis Teska, Auburndale and Sam Tuttle, Drummond.


Tyson Foods suffers loss

Tyson Foods suffered a surprise loss in the second quarter, something not since 2009, and it's cutting its sales forecast due to the cost of plant closures and layoffs, Associated Press reported.

Shares slid more than 15% Monday. Tyson has been trying to cut costs over the last six months. It closed its corporate offices in Chicago and South Dakota late last year and consolidated its workforce in Arkansas. In March it announced the closure of two plants in Arkansas and Virginia in order to better use available capacity at other facilities. Tyson laid off 15% of its senior leadership and 10% of its corporate workers last month as it faces steep inflation on labor, grain and other inputs.


Franksville Market purchases ALCIVIA’s Franksville C-Store

Customers will see changes following the purchase of ALCIVIA's Franksville C-story by Franksville Market, LLC. The closing date of the sale was April 28, 2023.

Owners of Franksville Market say they have plans to renovate the story, with plans to add a kitchen and introduce new food offerings. LP filling services were offered immediately.