FARMLAND NEWS & NOTES...WPR's Steve Roisum reports on Midwest agribusiness and consumer news from the La Crosse News Bureau. Hear his reports during WPR's newscasts and as occasional special reports during 88.9 WLSU's Morning Edition. Archives are available below.
Have a topic suggestion or a question to pose to our regional agricultural community? Please email reporter Steve Roisum; general feedback, comments and questions can be directed to WPR Regional Manager John Gaddo.
In addition to Steve's local features, WPR agricultural and agribusiness reports are available at Agriculture|WPRNews.org.
(unless otherwise indicated, click on the date to hear these reports)
April 17, 2012...U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, along with UW Madison Meat Specialist Jeff Sindelar, talk about Lean Finely Textured Beef, nicknamed "Pink Slime." Learn more from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
March 13, 2012 Despite outcries from many organizations across the world, it appears that more farmers are buying and relying on genetically modified seeds. We hear from Volker Mittendorf, the project manager of one company that develops genetically modified -- or G-M -- seeds. Learn more at Syngenta; or Greenpeace International.
March 6, 2012...Wisconsin director of USDA Rural Development Stan Gruszynski talks about creating jobs in rural communities, and how small towns are looking to become big players in global markets, both here in SW Wisconsin and beyond.
February 21, 2012...Local organic specialist Harriett Behar talks about the industry's struggle to keep up with consumer demand. She also previews the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service's annual Organic Farming Conference being held in La Crosse Feb 23-25.
February 14, 2012...Midwest farmers have been encouraged by the growing demand for corn and soybeans on the world market, especially from developing countries like China; but at least one ag marketing professional says farmers should want the situation closely. And we have an update on the 2012 Farm Bill that will soon discussed by Congress.
February 7, 2012...branding consultant Andrea Heu explains how local-food producers and small businesses are working to improve their "brand" to catch the consumers eye.
January 31, 2012...Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Bill Bruins says thanks to strong export markets, farmers could be on the verge of a golden age in agriculture. Also, a UW Ag economist says US beef production went down in 2011, and prices went up.
January 24, 2012...Mike Fogel and Val Shannon raise heritage pigs in rural Houston County, Minnesota. Reporter Steve Roisum meets exotic descendents of swine found more commonly in other countries, such as Russia, and Japan.
January 10, 2012...the world's population is growing; statistics from the United Nation's Department of Economic and Social Affairs can be alarming, especially as they relate to feeding the world. Can Wisconsin farmers keep up with increasing demand? Regional agricultural professionals weigh in with their concerns and observations.
December 20, 2011... two western Wisconsin farmers look back at how their operations fared in 2011. Listen to this report here.
December 6, 2011...a rural La Crosse County farm is working toward Wisconsin DNR "Green Tier" status recognizing its environmentally-friendly approaches to doing business. Meet the owners of Sunray Dairy and hear their story here. To learn more about the state's business environmental stewardship efforts, visit Green Tier program.
November 29, 2011...Christmas tree farms are in full swing; we visit one area tree farm and talk with its owner about the traditions, as well as the work. Listen to this report here. To learn more, visit the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association. A map of Wisconsin tree farms can be found here.
November 15 & 16, 2011...a two-part report on women in agriculture -- recent farm census findings show more women are becoming farmers than ever before in Wisconsin.
In the first of these two reports, Ana Skemp and Jillian Varney talk about what inspired them to start their own ag operations. Listen to this report here.
In part two, Ana and Jillian discuss balancing farm-work and raising small children. Part two can be heard here.
November 8, 2011...preparing new farmers for success. Vance Haugen, Crawford County's UW-Extension agricultural specialist, explains the role of the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers. Listen to this report here. Learn more at Dairy and Livestock Farming in Wisconsin.
November 1, 2011...local food purchases through Community Supported Agriculture -- CSA -- businesses have been growing in recent years; and while sales may have hit a temporary plateau, local CSAs are anticipating continued growth in the years ahead. We visit southeastern Minnesota's Featherstone Farm, near Rushford, and talk with the Madison Area CSA Coalition. Listen to this report here.
October 25, 2011...area farmers are sharing their thoughts on how federal farm legislation might change -- we sample opinions from a recent forum sponsored by western Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind. And the latest on the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board's weight-loss claims related to milk consumption -- updates to the Board's website followed a recent investigation by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Listen to this report here.
October 18, 2011...Wisconsin's Teacher of the Year teaches agriculture -- a subject increasingly being cut at some school districts, but one that is alive and well in western Wisconsin's Black River Falls schools. We hear from Teacher of the Year Brad Markhardt in this report. Hear an extended conversation with Markhardt in a special Newsmakers interview available here.
October 4, 2011...Wisconsin's dairy industry is expanding to include more goat dairy products -- and there's increasing interest to get into the business. Listen to this report here.
September 27, 2011...farmers markets and their growing role in our communities. Listen to this report here.
September 13, 2011...a little pest that could have a big impact on area fruit growers; and how the fall harvest is shaping up. Listen to this report here.
August 30, 2011...keeping local foods closer to home; sharing our dairy know-how with the world; and creating agricultural enterprise zones in La Crosse County. Listen to this report here.
August 23, 2011...managed grazing, farm safety for kids, and collecting historic accounts of Wisconsin's dairy industry -- recent news from this summer's Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. Listen to this report here.
July 15, 2011...Wisconsin's Aquaculture Industry -- UW-Extension's Ron Johnson talks about the aquaculture industry in Wisconsin and July 16 "Aquaculture Day" events. Listen to this report here. Learn more about "Aquaculture Day" under the events listings from the Wisconsin Aquaculture Association.
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