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TOWN OF WHITESTOWN

Teen accidentally killed by friend during hunting outing
Authorities say a 17-year-old boy died after he was accidentally shot by a friend while hunting in Vernon County. 

Sheriff's officials say the boy and his 15-year-old friend were going turkey hunting on private land in the Town of Whitestown on May 21. When the two got out of the vehicle, a pistol held by the younger boy discharged, striking the older boy in the side and chest area. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Sheriff John Spears says both teens are from the Ontario area.

MADISON

DNR board OKs reducing fall buck-only zones

The state Department of Natural Resources' board has signed off on a fall deer hunt structure that scales back the number of counties where hunters can shoot only bucks for a fourth straight year.

The 2017 season structure designates Ashland, Iron and Vilas counties and the eastern half of Eau Claire County as buck-only. The designation protects does so they can give birth and grow area herds. The DNR's board passed the structure on a unanimous voice vote Wednesday.

The board designed 19 counties as buck-only in 2014, 12 counties in 2015 and 10 counties last year. Fewer buck-only counties each year is a sign the statewide herd is growing. DNR officials say a series of mild winters has helped bolster the herd.

MADISON

Host county sought for Alice finals

Organizations interested in promoting their county’s agriculture industry and other businesses are encouraged to consider hosting the 72nd Alice in Dairyland Finals in May, 2019. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is accepting bids from a Wisconsin county or counties to host the event.

Each year, a different county hosts the Alice in Dairyland selection. The planning process begins approximately two years in advance, with submitting the host county application, due June 17th for consideration.

In mid-March 2019, the host county holds a press conference to officially announce the top candidates for the position of 72nd Alice in Dairyland. The hosting process culminates in a three-day Finals event in which the new Alice is selected. During these three days, the top candidates will tour agribusinesses, give interviews with local media, hold a discussion panel for the public and finish with the Finale event in which a new Alice is selected.

Alice in Dairyland is a communications professional employed by the WI DATCP. After a weeks-long public job interview involving as many as six finalists, each Alice works for one year to educate the public about Wisconsin agriculture.

For more information contact Ti Gauger at 608-224-5115 or Ti.Gauger@wisconsin.gov.

Proposals are due by June 17, 2017. Submitted proposals may also be considered for 2020 and 2021 host county selection.

MANITOWOC

Winter triggers alfalfa losses

Unusual seasonal weather variations have made it tough on alfalfa crops in some parts of Wisconsin.

A warmer-than-usual winter and a cold wet spring have caused a significant portion of the alfalfa crop to fail in Manitowoc County. University of Wisconsin Extension agriculture specialist Scott Gunderson says at least 10,000 of the 18,000 acres of alfalfa have failed in the county.

USA Today Network-Wisconsin says February temperatures climbed into the 60s, encouraging the alfalfa to grow, then dropped down to the 20s causing harmful sheets of ice to form on the plantings.

Dairy farmers may struggle to find feed for their cows in the months ahead and will likely spend more to buy forage for their herds.

MADISON

Cooperative to pay equity patronage

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Board of Directors have authorized return of fiscal year 2016 patronage equity to its members.

John Rettler, president of the FarmFirst board of directors said the cooperative is looking out for its members, and authorizing disbursement of these patronage funds.

In addition to members active in the cooperative in 2016, Family Dairies USA members will also receive a portion of their equity that remains from their existing equity program prior to the merger.

To receive patronage, cooperative members will need to confirm their current tax information via completion of a Form W-9, “Request for Tax Payer Identification and Certification” prior to July 1, 2017. The board designated the minimum amount to be $10, and patronage checks will be sent out in August 2017.

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