National Briefs: Migrant worker killed during robbery

Wisconsin State Farmer


National briefs



Farm to help UMS reach goals for locally sourced food

Circle B Farms of Caribou has been hired to help get more locally sourced food into dining halls at six of the seven University of Maine System campuses.

Circle B works with several Aroostook County farms to make available regionally sourced fruits, vegetables and products. The farm's owner participated Sunday in an update to trustees during a meeting at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

The farm is being contracted by Sodexo Inc., which won a food service contract. It's part of the university system's goal to have 20 percent of campus food come from local sources by 2020.

Maine's public universities have spent more than $1.25 million buying products from local farms and food processors in the first 10 months of the 2020 initiative.


Bat has Michigan's 1st case of rabies in 2017  

Michigan's first known case of rabies this year has been confirmed. Authorities say a big brown bat in Ingham County tested positive for the illness, which can be fatal to humans.  

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says rabies cases start turning up this time of year. The viral disease is transmitted through a bite or scratch from an infected animal.  

Bats and skunks are the most common carriers in Michigan, where 41 cases were reported in 2016.  

Pets and domestic livestock should be vaccinated. You can protect yourself by avoiding contact with wild animals and seeking medical attention if bitten or scratched by an animal.  

If you find a bat in your home, collect or confine it and contact the local health department.  


Wisconsinites encouraged to attend farm breakfasts

When 20,000 pounds of cheese and 13,000 gallons of milk have been ordered, it can only mean one thing - June Dairy Month is here and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) is ready to celebrate.

Gov. Scott Walker says the Wisconsin dairy industry is an essential component of the state and adds that dairy farmers deserve to be recognized not only during June Dairy Month, but year-round, as their hard work and dedication produce world-class dairy products and a strong economy.

"Local farm breakfasts are outstanding events that provide fun for all ages, and we encourage Wisconsinites to get out this June and show their support," Walker said.

Finding a farm breakfast to attend is easy with the help of WMMB's recently redesigned Dairy Days of Summer website. Wisconsin dairy farm families host more than 72 farm breakfasts in honor of June Dairy Month, with numerous opportunities to see firsthand what happens on a farm, enjoy a homemade breakfast with Wisconsin dairy products, and of course meet the hardworking farm families of Wisconsin.


New Mexico to honor dryland farming pioneer

New Mexico is honoring a dryland farming pioneer Mollie Klapp.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division and the Department of Transportation will dedicate a state historic marker to Klapp.

The dedication will be held Wednesday at the intersection of N.M. 41 and Madrid Avenue near Moriarty.

Klapp was a widow with seven children who moved to New Mexico in the 1900s. She was a dryland farmer who took advantage of the climate and sandy soils to grow pinto beans in Estancia Valley.

Klapp as a homesteader at the time contributed to the 2.5 million pounds of pinto beans that were annually harvested and shipped from central New Mexico.

A state historian called her a brave woman whose life illustrated the hardships of a homesteader.


Migrant worker killed trying to stop robbery

A migrant worker who had just arrived in the United States to pick this year's blueberry crop has died after being shot during an armed robbery in North Carolina.

Bladen County authorities tell local news outlets the man was part of a group standing in front of a home at around 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 19.

Authorities say two men approached and asked if they wanted to buy marijuana. When the group said no, the men pulled out guns and told everyone to get on the ground.

As they robbed each person, 33-year-old Leonardo Zongua fought back. Authorities say he was shot twice and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

No other information has been released, and authorities have not announced any arrests.


School district owed $23K from unpaid lunches

Bismarck school officials are trying to determine how the district accumulated $23,000 in unpaid student lunches over 10 years.

Bismarck School Board President Matt Sagsveen told The Bismarck Tribune the matter will be discussed at a meeting Monday.

"I'm not sure I have all the information I need right now," he said. "Obviously, with that amount of money, it raises concerns, so I think we, as a board, should hear some of the details on how that debt has accrued and then we can talk about how we want to collect it."

District Superintendent Tamara Uselman says many of the accounts with a negative balance are from former students and it's likely that what's owed will be covered by the district's general fund. The unpaid lunches are from 1,110 families.

The school district adopted a new policy in November to notify parents by text and email when they owe money. Parents will also be warned that their debt could be forwarded to a collection agency if it's unpaid.

The district's child nutrition department is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.