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MIDWEST FARM&AG VOLUME 1 NUMBER 1

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2 • Thursday, July 30, 2015 / Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing

Rock County 4-H Fair Alumni awards 16 scholarships ROCK COUNTY — The Rock County 4-H Fair Alumni Association recently awarded $500 post-secondary educational scholarships to 16 4-H and FFA members. The Alumni group is made up of former 4-H and FFA members and others who support the Rock County 4-H Fair and its youth exhibitors. Scholarship recipients are:

Chapter, she will attend Iowa State University in Ames to major in animal science.

Riley Miller, the recipient of the Paul George Memorial Scholarship, is a member of both the Magnolia 4-H Club and Evansville FFA Chapter and a 2015 graduate of Evansville High School. She will attend UW-Madison to pursue a major in dairy science. She is the daughter of Josh and Nicole Speich of Orfordville.

JESSICA BENNETT

ton FFA and a 2015 graduate of Clinton High School. The daughter of Aaron and Jody Bennett of Clinton, she will attend UW-Platteville to major in both agribusiness and animal science.

JORIE ANDREW

Jorie Andrew, receiving the Gordy and Barb Andrew Family Scholarship, is the daughter of Ken and Shelly Andrew of Evansville. A member of the Magnolia 4-H Club and Evansville FFA Chapter, she is a 2015 graduate of Evansville High School and will attend Carthage College to pursue a degree in athletic training.

LAURA PRENTICE SARAH LANDHERR

Sarah Landherr is the daughter of Dan and Diand Landherr of Janesville and a 2015 graduate of Milton High School. She is receiving the Marion Paul Memorial Scholarship. A member of both the Harmony 4-H Club and Milton FFA Chapter, Landherr will attend UW-Platteville and pursue an animal science major with a pre-veterinary emphasis.

KYLE CHRISLAW

Kyle Chrislaw, the recipient of the Willard Arndt Memorial Scholarship, will attend Blackhawk East College in Galvin, Ill., and major in agribusiness. He is the son of Bruce and Carla Chrislaw of Clinton and a member of the Clinton 4-H Club and Clinton FFA Chapter. He is a 2015 graduate of Clinton High School.

Taylor North, the daughter of Craig and Melissa North, Janesville, is receiving the John and Catherine Lader Scholership. She is a member of both the Turtle 4-H Club and Clinton FFA Chapter and a 2015 graduate of Clinton High School. North will attend UW-River Falls to major in animal science as part of the pre-veterinary program. Rebecca Shilts, a 2015 graduate of Parkview High School, will attend UW-Madison to major in both biochemistry and mathematics. The daughter of Ron and Paulette Shilts, Orfordville, she is a member of both the Center 4-H Club and Parkview FFA Chapter.

ADAM MASTERS

Adam Masters, a member of the Badger 4-H Club, will attend UW-Madison and pursue a civil engineering degree. He is the son of Frank and Elaine Masters, Janesville and a 2015 graduate of Janesville Craig High School.

LACEE KARKOSH

Lacee Karkosh, the daughter of Brian and Tambray Karkosh of Milton, is a 2015 graduate of Milton High School and the recipient of the Hughes Family Scholarship. A member of the Milton FFA

TAYLOR NORTH

REBECCA SHILTS

CIERA BALLMER

Ciera Ballmer, receiving the Robert Miller Scholarship, is the daughter of Ronna Morton Ballmer of Janesville and the late Jerry Ballmer. A member of LaPrairie 4-H and Clinton FFA and a 2015 graduate of Clinton High School, she will attend the University of Wisconsin - Madison to major in both dairy science and community and nonprofit leadership. Jessica Bennett is a member of the Clinton 4-H and Clin-

and is a member of both the LaPrairie 4-H Club and Janesville Parker FFA Chapter and is a 2015 graduate of Janesville Parker High School.

RILEY MILLER

DANA POWELL

Dana Powell graduated from Evansville High School in 2014 and will be a sophomore at UW-Platteville this fall. She is majoring in animal science with an agribusiness emphasis. She is the daughter of Ty and Nancy Powell of Evansville, and she is a member of both the Evansville 4-H Club and Evansville FFA Chapter. Laura Prentice, the recipient of the Gavilon Grain Scholarship, will attend UWRock County and then transfer to UW-Platteville to pursue degrees in both agricultural education and agribusiness. She is the daughter of Gerald and Lisa Prentice, Janesville,

MCKENZIE TIMP

McKenzie Timp will attend Mount Mary University in Milwaukee to major in art therapy. The 2015 Clinton High School graduate is the daughter of Rod and Cheryl Timp, Clinton, and she is a member of the Bradford 4-H Club.

See 4-H, Page 3


Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing / Thursday, July 30, 2015 • 3

Continued from page 3

Edgerton, is a 2015 graduate of Edgerton High School. She is a member of the Fulton 4-H Club and will attend the University of Iowa in Iowa City to major in both psychology and complete the pre-professional program for physician’s assistants.

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Ali Weilbrenner, receiving the Funk Family Scholarship, is the daughter of Robert and Lynn Weilbrenner, Janesville. She will attend UW-Whitewater to pursue a degree in elementary education. A 2015 graduate of Parker High School, she is a member of the LaPrairie 4-H Club and Parker High School FFA. Meghan Wellnitz, a 2015 graduate of Edgerton High School, is the daughter of David and Lynette Wellnitz, Edgerton. A member of both the Porter 4-H Club and Edgerton FFA Chapter, she will attend UWPlatteville to pursue a degree in agricultural education. Courtney Wille, the daughter of Eric and Teresa Wille,


4 • Thursday, July 30, 2015 / Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing

Pecatonica farmers discuss agriculture regulations, their farm PECATONICA — According to Food.com, July is National Grilling Month and this is specifically celebrated on July 22. Now as silly as this “holiday” may seem to some, grilling one activity that seems to make summer really feel like summer. It adds that smoky, mouthwatering aroma that makes the whole neighborhood turn their heads. However, depending what you put on your grill, David Daly, a beef cattle farmer of Pecatonica, Ill., might know a thing a two about how that that juicy meat got to your cook-out. Daily life on the Daly Farm is nothing short of fascinating. David and Carrie Daly definitely have their hands full not only raising their four children, but also keeping up the legacy of a 5th generation farm. The farm that the Dalys operate was established by Carrie’s father in 1972. The Dalys became partners with her parents five years ago. They currently farm around 2,000 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay. They also have an 88-head cow/calf operation and run a large scale feedlot. Promoting agriculture is nothing new to the Dalys. The family is faced with many regulations set by government programs. They are trying to bring awareness to the fact that it isn’t necessarily doable to keep the regulations and the rules so strict. “There are some double edge swords for us livestock producers”Bonded said Daly. “Every building that livestock go into has to be Insured engineered so that there is no

Courtesy photos

The Daly farm was established by Carrie Daly’s father in 1972. Carrie and David Daly became partners with her parents five years ago. They currently farm around 2,000 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay.

run off from that yard. This means your animals are no longer going to be outside, enjoying the sunlight, and running through the grass. “So you have the people that are for the animal’s wellbeing looking at us as cruel people. But, we are regulated to do this. We do not do anything that we are not forced to do that is not for the benefit of the animal. Our main goal is to provide the best environment for our animals to be in.”

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Daly’s wife, Carrie, is also aware of these regulations and she is frustrated by similar situations. “Another thing that I think we, as livestock producers, have to worry about is all the misinformation on GMO’s,” said Mrs. Daly. “If you look at animal science research, animal scientists who have done the studies have results that prove that there is no difference or detriments in IL License feeding GMO’s. But, people don’t understand that. They

The Daly’s also have an 88 head cow/calf operation and run a large scale feedlot.

just read an article about lab rats and assume the Genetically Modified Organisms affect everything.” “To anyone who asks me about the GMO’s on my crops or the hormones in my cattle I will say, do your research and be careful about what you read on the internet because there is nothing that I don’t consume myself and/or feed my chil#104-015456 dren,” said Daly. The Dalys are BQA Certified.

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BQA stands for Beef Quality Assurance and anyone who handles beef must be certified. This program first started in the hog industry, but now beef producers are required to go through this program as well. To achieve this certification, the Dalys attended an informative seminar and now certain aspects of their operation must pertain to these qualifications. For instance, the injections they give their cattle are done in the triangle area of the neck or the ears, no injections are given intramuscular (which means no injections are ever given in an area of consumption), the safe practices of handling the animals are enforced, and two different people walk through the cattle every day. This helps the cattle get used to people and producers are able to keep a close eye on their animals. The Dalys are a special kind of family. They are so passionate about what they do not only in the agriculture industry, but in their family and their community. They care so much about the consumers ending up with their products and they are taking every step necessary to be the best producers that they can. They face the everyday struggles that all farmers do, but they overcome them with a smile on their face and a love for the industry in their heart.


Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing / Thursday, July 30, 2015 • 5

Agricultural community buzzing about UAVs By Jordan DeLong DeLong Agronomy Division Intern

E

BRIAN LUCK

Photo courtesy of the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Throughout the past few years, corn growers have attached these cameras on tractors and sprayers. However most of this data can only be collected through the first half of the growing season. When the corn gets to a certain height equipment cannot travel over it. Luck believes that UAVs could become the tool used during the second half of the growing season. UAVs sent into a field mid to late season can pinpoint stressed points in the field and help farmers to make accurate decisions on nutrient application. Growers can also use the aerial NDVI maps created by UAVs to create Variable Rate Technology (VRT) maps for the next year’s crop’s nutrient needs. Variable rate technology simply means applying nutrients to the field in varying amounts, only where necessary. This

Courtesy photos

Brian Luck purchased a basic UAV model called the DJI Phantom Vision II + to demonstrate to farmers how a UAV works and their potential uses.

combination of technology not only saves farmers money, but also protects the soil, prevents over application of nutrients, and shelters natural watersheds from excess nutrient runoff. NDVI image does have limitation. It will show stressors, but will not tell exactly what those stressors are. For that information consultants have to go out in the field to that location and take crop tissue samples. This practice may change with the advent of a new type of camera option potentially coming soon to the market. Multispectral cameras can take pictures covering almost all wavelengths of light. As Luck explains, certain things make the crop plant “glow” when it is growing. The sensors in this camera can capture this glow and can even pinpoint the specific deficiency. Luck believes that this camera will be released within the next year. Certainly the information

that farmers can get from these UAVs seems cost-effective. However the commercial use of UAVs in the United States is currently illegal. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is projected to release its first official statement on the use of UAV’s in the fall of 2015. Luck expects the FAA to allow their use within agriculture. He predicts the pilot of the UAV will have to be trained and have certification. He also expects the FAA to require pilots to log their flight times/

locations and also stay below 400 feet. Luck explains that “negative” UAV incidents, similar like the one that occurred at the White House a few weeks ago, are very bad for the industry. “The struggle is going to be where these things can and can’t go,” explains Luck. He stresses the importance of public awareness for agricultural use of UAVs and also the agricultural industry’s respect of federal laws and regulations. “UAVs can be a great tool for farmers around the world, by allowing them to maximize their inputs and efficiently monitor their crops. We need to be as resourceful as we can in the next 50 years in order to grow the food necessary for our increasing population.” The DeLong Co., Inc. agronomy division is researching different options and UAV platforms to best suit your needs. We realize that aerial imagery can be a very valuable tool for your operation and we want to be able to offer you that service. Please contact our agronomy office for more details.

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arly on the morning of Jan. 26, 2014, a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed into the lawn of the White House. The incident turned out to be a false alarm. It has raised doubts however if UAVs should be permitted in the United States. Brian Luck, an associate professor and extension specialist in the area of biological systems engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is especially interested in UAVs. Shortly after being hired, Luck realized that there was a strong interest in UAVs and their opportunities for use on the farm. He purchased a basic UAV model called the DJI Phantom Vision II + to demonstrate to farmers how a UAV works and demonstrate their potential uses. Luck has used his UAV on a research basis to learn how they operate. He has gathered imagery from row crop fields around the state. The imagery is promising, but Luck explains that more research needs to be done to further investigate their potential. A recent article in the journal of Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, describes the on-farm benefits of a UAV. For many years farmers were forced to check their crops on the ground level. This was time intensive and farmers looked for more efficient options. Initially farmers used traditional planes and satellites to capture aerial data. However cloud cover and limited resolutions of the photos prevented these two methods from becoming popular. UAVs offer farmers a new option. “The biggest thing the UAV can provide farmers is data,” comments Luck. He describes that farmers want UAVs so that they can gather data about their crops. Information gathered from UAVs allows farmers to make decisions that will help promote a healthier crop. Nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient for crop plants throughout the world. Farmers apply nitrogen in small amounts throughout the year, hoping to get just the right amount on the crop at the right time to maximize yield. Luck says it is important for farmers to realize that maximizing profit and maximizing yield are two different things. Farmers can apply a lot of nitrogen to a field to increase

yield, but this certainly won’t be profitable because nitrogen is very expensive. Luck believes that UAVs can help farmers apply just the right amount of nitrogen in just the right place. A type of camera may provide farmers the solution to their nitrogen dilemma. Normal Difference Vegetation Index is a type of photo that shows how green a plant is. Nitrogen stress on a plant causes the leaves to turn yellow. Therefore this type of photo can indicate nitrogen stress.

Contact Pacesetter Alpacas at 608-879-2770 • 608-751-2261 5546 W. Plymouth Church Rd., Beloit, WI 53511 or email us at psalpaca@ticon.net to set up an appointment today!

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6 • Thursday, July 30, 2015 / Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing

Owner shares story of developing an Alpaca farm By Dennis Pace Owner of Pacesetter Alpacas

W

ith the beginning of a new publication, I thought it would be fitting to share with its readers the beginning of Pacesetter Alpacas. In 1989, my wife, Christy, and I found the perfect rural property to build our dream home on Plymouth Church Road, in rural Beloit, Wis. It had rented tillable ground, which was good as my agriculture experience amounted to mowing the lawn. It also had a small woods, which gave me a place to hang my bow in the fall. We built a small barn first. Then came our dream home. Soon it was moving day. Life was good. Now that we are settled in the house, it’s time for some landscaping. During that project, I was wishing I had looked for a spot that wasn’t on top of a future lime quarry, but it turned out beautiful. Now that the landscaping work was done, I could sit down and catch up on the country newspaper that I had subscribed to but never had time to read. I read an article about a farm in Wisconsin that had these interesting looking animals called “alpacas.” Now, Christy and I began talking about what type of animals we could raise on our “farm.” Being that we both grew up in town with pet dogs, cats, turtles, goldfish and an occasional bunny found in the back yard, we decided we needed something that would be easy to take care of, gentle and easy to handle and not something that would be sent to “market.” Did I mention we have a tendency to become attached to our animals? Those requirements put most conventional livestock off the table (No pun intended). The alpacas sounded like the perfect fit for two town kids that wanted to raise some animals on their new “farm.” So, one nice Sunday afternoon, I rolled out the 1964 corvette that I had restored out of the garage, washed it up, and Christy and I went for a ride to visit our first alpacas. We walked into the barn with the alpacas. They had these big beautiful dark eyes, long twisted fiber that swayed when they walked. There were all colors and sizes. There was a quiet “hum” coming from the animals, and we were able to put our hands on their super soft fiber. We were hooked! Now, the problem was that 20 years ago, these alpacas were very expensive. They had only recently been imported to the U.S. from South America, and their numbers here were quite small. But, after doing some research and learning about the tax advantages of having a farm business, plus the fact that we could insure the investment 100 percent against loss, we decided to go for it. We purchased a pregnant female and a non-breeding male to have as a com-

Some of the Pace’s alpacas smile for the camera.

panion. Alpacas are very social animals and need to interact with animals of their own kind. Soon we had the barn and pasture ready for the new arrivals, and they came to us in the fall of 1995. We made it through the winter with ease and by spring, we had a new cria on the ground (baby alpacas are called crias), and we

Courtesy photos

were experiencing life as alpaca farmers. By mid-summer, feeling pretty confident in our ability to care for these animals, we decided it was time to add to our herd. The corvette went up for sale, and we purchased our second female. There was no looking back. We knew that we were committed, and I’m pret-

The alpaca from Pacesetter Alpacas was named a Buccaneer Reserve Champion at The Great Midwest Alpaca Festival.

ty sure our family and close friends thought we both should be “committed!” Well, that was 20 years ago and there are no regrets. We will have more about these wonderful creatures in the next edition.

Pacesetter Alpacas is located in rural Beloit, Wis. and is owned by Dennis and Christy Pace.


Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing / Thursday, July 30, 2015 • 7

Cargill Feed and Nutrition supports SMILES scholarship fund

Courtesy photo

Emma Caputo shares a special moment with her therapy horse, Otis. Special moments like these are often made possible through donations that are made to the SMILES Scholarship Fund

JANESVILLE — Special Methods in Learning Equine Skills, Inc. (SMILES) is proud to have been chosen by Cargill Feed and Nutrition to receive a special grant. The generous award of $3,500 has been presented to SMILES to strengthen The Sherry Monty Scholarship Fund, which supports clients of the therapeutic horsemanship program. SMILES improves the lives and living skills of both adults and children with special needs and is currently celebrating 30 years of providing these services. The scholarship fund, named after the founder of the organization, Sherry Monty, supports clients who have demonstrated financial need through an application process. Financial awards from the scholarship fund reduce the program fee that a client will need to pay for their services. Awards are granted on a sliding scale basis. Scholarships at SMILES provide financial support to those families who desire to see their loved one with special needs benefit from equine assisted activities and therapies. There is a great demand for these scholarships, and replenishing the scholarship fund is a priority. “We are very grateful to the employees of Cargill, for choosing us as partners in their Cargill Cares program,” said Gay Stran, Executive Director of the organization. “Many lives will be touched, and many families will be supported through this gift.” SMILES transcends traditional therapeutic methods by offering individuals with special needs the joy of participating in an equine assisted program, which provides

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social, emotional, physical and personal rewards. Lives, and living skills, are improved through the classes and programs of SMILES. SMILES is accredited through PATH International as a Premier Center, assuring clients of the highest standards in the industry. SMILES is a non-profit organization holding 501c3 status, and relies upon the generosity and support of the community to continue in its mission. For more information on the SMILES program visit their website at www.smilestherapeuticriding.org, or call (262) 882-3470. SMILES is a proud partner of United Way.

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8 • Thursday, July 30, 2015 / Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing

‘Got Worms?’

Author with local ties publishes composting book

By Celeste Lightner-Greenwalt Staff Columnist

CLINTON — Jessica Thomas’s journey into composting started when she left Wisconsin to live in Texas, where there was no recycling being done. She was used to the recycling bins that you put out at the edge of your drive way; Texas had nothing. This was unacceptable to Jessica! Originally, she tried different methods of recycling; she went online for other resources for recycling, where she came across a small company in Maine. She inquired about their composting program. They sent her a package in the mail, with a one page instruction sheet. In that package was the beginning of three years of experimenting with the different forms of composting with worms. Yes, worms. And not just your run of the mill worms you find after a rain. No, these were red worms. Jessica realized that there was no information out there for people interested in composting with red worms, so she decided to take recycling and composting classes, and formulate a process of composting with the red worms that

Celeste Lightner-Greenwalt photos

Jessica Thomas, author of “Got Worms? A guide to urban worm composting” who was born and raised in the Darien area, illustrates the process of composting with red worms. This new bin composting system was designed by Jessica to be easier to use, more efficient and self-sustainable.

was easy, efficient, and selfsustainable. “It was never my intention to go this far,” Jessica explained. “There was just a lot of trash, and I didn’t know what to do with it all.” “I wanted to turn trash into something useful,” she continued. “Eighty-six percent of our trash can be recyclable or compostable. However, America only reclaims less than 32%.”

Worms?” has been picked up by Greenhouse Publishing, and will be available in a couple of weeks. She is now doing speeches at universities to organizations like the Wisconsin Education Association, to teach how to raise red worms. “The information in the book is for educators and individual homeowners that have an interest in composting,” Jessica said. “It’s also about empowering the general population to be able to do this on their own.” “You can’t change the world by yourself,” she added. “You can, however, change the world in your own way.” In the book, “Got Worms? A guide to urban worm composting”, individuals are able to learn what is composting, how to do it, what kind of worms to utilize for indoor composting, harvesting and using the final

product, even how to make money from your household waste. Jessica grew up in Darien, where she was used to the attitude of recycling and composting. When she got married and moved to Texas and saw that there was nothing being done with the family’s recyclables, she felt the need to do her part in the recycling and composting world by producing a resource that would be available to everyone. She is also the granddaughter of Robert and Yvonne Gretchmann of Clinton, and was recently visiting the area. She continues to do research and find different and more efficient ways to make the bin composting system easier to use. For those that are interested in composting with red worms, can contact Jessica at gotwormsinfo@yahoo.com.

After three years of experimenting, Jessica is now a Master Composter. She wanted to put all of new valuable composting information into something everyone would want to do and make it easy for everyone. That’s when “Got Worms?” came about; her self-published book dedicated to the art of composting with red worms. The second edition of “Got

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Rhonda Douglas shows off her beautiful petunias that were grown using the by-product of her own red worm composting system. Rhonda has been using red worm bin composting system designed by Jessica Thomas, author of “Got Worms?” for over a year.


Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing / Thursday, July 30, 2015 • 9

Wisconsin Association of FFA bestows awards to Honored Adults at 86th State FFA Convention MADISON, Wis. — Each year, the Wisconsin Association of FFA recognizes individuals who have shown incredible commitment to FFA and the future of agriculture. Many gathered at a dinner program on Wednesday, June 17, to honor this year’s recipients, the 2015 Honored Adults of the 86th Wisconsin FFA Convention. “We are excited to recognize so many notable individuals as part of the Honored Adults program,” says Jeff Hicken, State FFA Advisor and Agriculture and Natural Resources Education Consultant. “For many years, they have selflessly given great amounts of time and finances to support FFA and agricultural education throughout Wisconsin. They have a deep appreciation and understanding for the agricultural industry as a whole, but also know that to maintain it our youth need resources and education today.” An Honorary State Degree is the highest FFA Honorary Degree available. Its purpose is to recognize individuals who have rendered outstanding service to the agricultural education/FFA program. Receiving an Honorary State Degree were: • Bradley Anderson, an agricultural sales representative for McFarlanes’ in Sauk City; • Marshall L. Behling, who was an account executive for The Country Today for 30 years; • Jack H. Ellickson, a sales representative for Animal Health International, Inc.; • Darci M. Meili, an administrative assistant in Member Relations for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation; • Dennis Patterson, who farms with his brother Dale near Bloomington, Wis.; • Derrick Papcke, who recently served on the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Board of Directors and farms near Elkhorn; • Edward C. Peck, president and CEO of Filament Marketing and owner of April-Day Holsteins; • Linda Sattler, the agricultural instructor and FFA advisor at Laconia High School, and current past-president of Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators; • Dr. Donovan Taylor, the chair of the UW-River Falls Department of Plant and Earth

Courtesy photo

The Wisconsin Association of FFA gathered at a dinner program on Wednesday, June 17, to honor this year’s recipients, the 2015 Honored Adults of the 86th Wisconsin FFA Convention.

Science; • Eric Treml, a member of the Wisconsin FFA Alumni Council representing Section 9 for the past four years; • Mike and Joni Wedig, parents of the 2014-15 State FFA President Alison Wedig; • Amy Zernicke, a member of the Wisconsin FFA Alumni Council representing Section 8 for the past 6 years and judge for many FFA speaking contests. The Distinguished Service award is given for outstanding contributions made to the Wisconsin Association of FFA and entirety of agricultural education. The four 2015 Distinguished Service Recipients were: • Equity Livestock’s A Good Way to Grow Program, which raised almost $40,000 for the Wisconsin FFA Foundation’s Leadership Partner Program last year. The Good Way to Grow Program funds are the result of 5 cents from each animal marketed at Equity facilities for one year, • John H Keel Photography, which takes the Wisconsin FFA State Officer Team’s official photographs every year and has worked with the Wisconsin FFA for 20 years on both state and local levels. • Michael Klahr, the event coordinator for the Alliant Energy Center, who has collaborated closely with the Wisconsin Association of FFA each year for convention planning and services. • Janet Schneider, current president of the Wisconsin FFA Alumni Association. She works for Stewart-Peterson as

well as on her family farm. The VIP Award is bestowed upon those who show a lifetime of support, dedication and leadership benefiting the FFA, FFA Alumni, and/or FFA Foundation. The VIP Award recipient at the 2015 Wisconsin FFA Convention was: • David Erickson, who spent 40 years serving Cooperative Network and the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives. He also served on the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Board of Directors and Sponsors Board. He has judged many state contests and worked closely with the State FFA Officers for more than three decades in conjunction with the National Cooperative Youth Program. The Hall of Fame acknowledges the support and/or achievements of individuals whose involvement in the field of agricultural education and the FFA totals 20 years or more. Inducted into the Wisconsin FFA Hall of Fame the same evening were: • Kim A. Havens, who is from Darlington and served as the State FFA Vice President in 1971-72 and State FFA President in 1972-73. He spent five years as an agricultural education instructor in Janesville, served the National FFA Foundation for seven years, and also was chairman and treasurer for the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Board of Directors. Havens is owner and founder of Havens Financial Services, Inc. • Glenn L. Linder from Blanchardville, who taught one year of agricultural education at Blanchardville High School followed by 23 at Pecatonica,

with many student success stories in FFA from those years. He is a lifetime member of the FFA Alumni and a member of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation’s Blue and Gold Society. Linder is a U.S. Navy veteran and has served in many leadership roles throughout FFA and teachers’ associations. • The late Jim Marcks, who taught agriculture at Luxemburg-Casco School for 32 years, and saw students earn 72 State Degrees and five firstplace proficiencies during that time. He contracted polio in his youth and was unable to farm after the illness, but spent his career and sharing his passion for agriculture and FFA with many students. This list of 2015 Honored Adults of the 86th Wisconsin FFA Convention encompasses decades of experience and dedication to Wisconsin FFA and agriculture education. The Wisconsin FFA Founda-

tion continues to support their legacy through dedicated sponsors, who each year provide educational opportunities for the next generation of agricultural industry leaders. The Wisconsin FFA Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization, unites individuals, organizations and companies who share a common interest in the advancement of agriculture and community leadership through FFA. You can support today’s FFA members by supporting the programs that have been core tenets of the FFA: proficiency awards, career development events, state FFA degrees, sectional leadership workshops, scholarships, chapter awards, agri-science fair, state FFA convention and state officer support. Learn more about the Wisconsin FFA Foundation and sponsorship opportunities by visiting www.wisconsinffafoundation.org.

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Eco-friendly pest control in the garden By Melinda Myers

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Spots on tomatoes, holes in hosta leaves and wilting stems mean insects and diseases have moved into the garden. Don’t let these intruders reduce the beauty and productivity of your landscape. Work in concert with nature to prevent and control these pests and you will be rewarded with a bountiful harvest and landscape filled with beautiful blooms. Monitor Take regular walks through FARM the landscape. Not only is it good exercise, but it will improve your mood and you’ll discover problems earlier when they are easier to control. Look for discolored leaves, spots, holes and wilting. Inspect the underside of the leaves and along the stems to uncover the cause of the problem.

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Floating row covers allow air, light and water through, but prevent insects like bean beetles and cabbage worms from reaching and damaging the plants.

Identify Once you discover a prob200 Allen Street, Clinton lem, identify the culprit. Your 608-676-4515 local extension service, gar- will reduce the risk of spread- floating row covers. These fabden center or reliable internet ing the disease when pruning rics allow air, light and water through, but prevent insects plants. resource can help. Once FARM identi- infected FARM - CITY ELEVATOR, INC. - CITY ELEVATOR, INC. like bean beetles and cabbage fied, you can plan the best way worms from reaching and damAdjust care to manage the culprit. Reduce the spread and risk of aging the plants. further problems by adjusting Invite the good guys Dan Mickey • Bob Mickey Toads, lady beetles and birds your maintenance strategies. Organic products Organic products like inseccontrol many garden pests. Avoid overhead and nighttime Storage & Merchandising help ticidal soap, Neem, horticulture watering that can increase the Attract them to the garden by oil and Bacillus thuringiensis risk of disease. Use an organic herbs and flowers to 1140 W. Locust St. • Belvidere planting can be used to control specific nitrogen fertilizer like Milattract beneficial insects, addpests. And even though these organite (milorganite.com), ing a house for the toads, and are organic, they are designed which encourages slow steady 210739 birdbath for songbirds. Avoid using pesticides and learn to growth that is less susceptible to kill insects or disease organisms, so be sure to read and foltolerate a bit of damage. A few to insect and disease attacks. Mulch the soil with shred- low label directions carefully. aphids or caterpillars will bring in the ladybeetles, lacewings, ded leaves, evergreen needles birds and toads that are looking or woodchips. This will keep Take Note FARM - CITY ELEVATOR, INC. FARMroots - CITY Make notes on the problems cool ELEVATOR, and moist duringINC. for a meal. drought, improve the soil as and solutions in this season’s they decompose, and also pre- garden. Refer to these next Clean up 1414 State Road 23, Dodgeville, Wisconsin  Ph.: 608-935-3326 - Fax: 608-935-5342 Many insects and diseases vent soil borne diseases from year to help you do a better can be managed and prevented splashing onto and infecting job of monitoring and managing garden pests. And when with a bit of garden cleanup. the plants. shopping for new plants, select A strong blast of water from For a complete listing and photos visit our websites at: the right plant for the location the garden hose will dislodge Non-chemical controls www.hennesseyimp.com or www.studers.com or www.warco1.com/auctions aphids and mites, reducing If the problems continue, try and choose resistant varieties their damage to a tolerable some non-chemical options whenever possible. NEW MONROE LOCATION A little eco-friendly gardenlevel. Or knock leaf-eating for insects. A yellow bowl We are pleased to announce that beetles and other larger insects filled with soapy water can ing can go a long way in creatoff the plants and into a can of attract aphids, a shallow can ing a beautiful and productive STUDER SUPER SERVICES, INC. filled with beer and sunk in garden. soapy water. 1703 6th Street, Monroe - 608-328-8331 Gardening expert, TV/radio Pick off discolored leaves, the ground will manage slugs, is now Hennessey Implement, Inc. prune off diseased stems and and crumpled paper under a host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than pot for earwigs are just aINC. destroy. Be sure to disinfect FARM CITY ELEVATOR, FARMflower - CITY ELEVATOR,  2015 -DODGEVILLE AUCTION DATESINC.  tools with 70% alcohol or one few ways to trap and kill these 30 years of horticulture experiEACH SALE IS HELD THE THIRD THURSDAY OF EVERY EVEN MONTH ence and has written over 20 part bleach to nine parts water pests. OCTOBER 15 - DECEMBER 17 solution between cuts. This Or cover the plants with gardening books.

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Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing / Thursday, July 30, 2015 • 11

Harrison family operates 11-acre garden for community use By Emily Hanlin Winnebago-Boone County Farm Bureau Ag Communications Intern

HARRISON — World War II started the promotion of Victory Gardens, ways to be self-reliant when it came to food production As people started providing enough food for themselves, their family, relatives and friends, these gardens permitted the government to ship more food supplies to American troops. However, since the war, people have given in to the power of marketing during a time of unprecedented economic prosperity. An entire generation has come to rely on others to produce their food. As the prosperity of the ‘80s and ‘90s declined and our food sources have shown their vulnerability, people are beginning to realize they might have to do things differently.

Some of the choices we have to consider as families to meet food needs are: GMO’s, organics, gluten–free, local, seasonal, sustainably sourced, free-range, grass-fed, and the list goes on and on. Rather than cowering under the media assault of doom and gloom people should view the current situation as a time of exciting change. People are adaptable and Americans have a heritage of adapting. For those who do not have the space, ability or patience to start a garden there is Harrison Market Gardens run by Ben, Jill and Bill Beyer. Harrison Market Gardens in Winnebago County provides an 11-acre garden that produces more vegetables than most people know exist. The Beyers open their garden to the public. Customers who like to pick the food they eat are welcome to try the U-pick system. If the customer prefers, they

Poplar Grove resident discusses farmer’s market hobby By Emily Hanlin Winnebago-Boone County Farm Bureau Ag Communications Intern

POPLAR GROVE — Stan Johnson, of Poplar Grove, is no stranger to working in the field. Johnson grew up helping his father in the garden and to this day, he still grows and sells the vegetables he raises on his two acre farm at farmers’ markets in Belvidere and Edgebrook in Rockford, Ill.. “Farmers’ markets are my social life,” Johnson said. “All I live for is to see those people every week.” Johnson takes pride in raising vegetables that he and his family, and other families across northern Illinois, can enjoy. Johnson’s family is involved in the vegetable business as well, with daughter, Julie, and sonin-law, Al, working on the farm and Johnson’s grandchildren helping during planting and harvesting. “My grandchildren are really good at the farmers’ markets,” Johnson said. “They have been helping me for five years. They love the people, they always smile, and the people love them, too. Some of them come up just to see their curly hair,” Johnson said. Besides the common vegetables like tomatoes and peppers, Johnson grows strawberries, basil, garlic, dry onions, asparagus, zucchini, autumn raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, winter squash, carrots, sweet corn, and designer pump-

Farmers’ markets are my social life. All I live for is to see those people every week.” — Stan Johnson kins and gourds. He also added fruit trees, including apples and pears, to his growing farm. “When I moved here we tore out an old orchard, and now we have a brand new one,” Johnson said. Johnson also has added high tunnels to his farm to help extend the growing season and allow him to offer vegetables to his customers in the off-season. Additionally, the high tunnels offer better quality produce coupled with higher yields, and protects crops from wind and temperature swings. Johnson and his family are dedicated to producing premiere quality vegetables that all families c-a-n enjoy. Stan’s Gourmet Vegetables can be preordered over the phone at (815) 765-3140 or can be picked up at the Edgebrook Farmers Market or the Belvidere Farmers Market.

can take advantage of the CSA model at the Beyer’s market, where their share of vegetables can be picked for them, cleaned, and ready for pick up every, or every other, week. “People buy a share early in the season that way we know how much to grow,” Beyer said. “They can pay for the season and they have the choice of picking weekly or bi-weekly depending on what their family needs are. The CSA plan goes for 20 weeks (10 if biweekly) the U-pick plan usually continues until mid-November. U-pick families often pick for 26 (or 13) weeks.” Many of the vegetables the Beyers raise are started as seedlings in the basement in square sections of earth so they have a head start when it is time to transfer them outdoors. Many crops are direct seeded. Some of the hardy crops lie dormant in the ground under straw throughout the winter just waiting for the ground

to thaw and warm. “Every year is an experiment when you are gardening because no two years are alike.” Jill said. In 2006, Harrison Market Gardens started with five weekly pickers. Last year, the farm fed over 100 families and sold to several restaurants in the Rockford area. Most of their customers are town people who wish they had time to garden. Many of the customers refer to the place as “my farm.” There is a washstation where people can clean their produce if they so desire. Some people prefer to take the produce home and clean it there. One of the advantages of Harrison Market Gardens is that it is easy to find only 7 miles northwest of Rockford. The customer base is primarily growing by word of mouth. Visit their website for more information www.harrisonmarketgardens.com.

Midwest Farm & Ag

Local information, services and equipment for the Agricultural Industry

Published fourth Thursday of the month Clinton Topper, Beloit Shopper, The Herald, Belvidere Daily Republican, and Independent Register. High Traffic areas Deadline: Second week of the month CONTACT: Celeste Lightner-Greenwalt: 815-654-4850 ex. 13 Rock Valley Publishing 11512 N. 2nd St. Machesney Park, IL


12 • Thursday, July 30, 2015 / Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing

       

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