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Aug 25, 201512:10 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

The road less traveled

(page 2 of 2)

Farm Tech Days this week

Speaking of work, just a shout-out to Wisconsin State Journal reporter Rob Schultz who did a bang-up job capturing the amazing Statz family farm started by two brothers and their spouses, now run by three cousins and into its third generation.

Talk about hard workers and risk takers! Of course, this extended family is hosting Farm Technology Days this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday east of Sun Prairie — minus Donnie Statz who died very unexpectedly four days after their farm was announced as hosts two years ago. More here.

We grew up with the Statz family and they now farm our land. I want to see for myself the anaerobic manure digester system — unlike the one owned by the county theirs does not blow up — that makes enough electricity to run the operation, equivalent to powering 400 homes. It heats the water used to sanitize the milking parlors. The process also eliminates odors while preventing water pollution from 4,000 cows — 3,000 in the newly constructed complex you’ll see on the tour. The nutrients are still available to fertilize the cropland. Finally, the system produces 28 tons per day of clean, soft bedding for the cows.

Each cow produces 80 pounds of milk a day. You do the math. Golly, I can remember when 40 was a fair-sized herd, milked in stanchion barns. Risk? Milk prices took a recent drop. No guarantees in farming.

I’ve got to see Juno the Robot, which travels the 640-feet length of each of the three new free-style barns (meaning the cows can move around at will) to push feed where the cows can get at it. They also drink warm water — the cows are said to prefer it — recycled from cooling the milk.

This farm event should go a long way to dispel the big city bias against large farming operations. These are the norm in California, Wisconsin’s chief dairying rival.

Haven’t seen this anywhere else

•  Wisconsin Watchdog finds that “Legal defense of rogue John Doe agents costs taxpayers nearly $1.2 million.”

•  Bonus news: Shirley “Abrahamson’s legal temper-tantrum cost taxpayers $150,000” in lawyers bills.

Quotes of the week

•  John Kasich: “So if I were, not president, but if I were king in America, I would abolish all teachers’ lounges, where they sit together and worry about, ‘Woe is us.’

•  Facebook friend Pierro Wipperfurth: “U.S. Airman Spencer Stone and the other two Americans who stopped a terrorist attack on a French high-speed train are ‘heroes of the non-Bruce Jenner type.’”

•  “All my life I believed that I was circumcised. How could I not have known?” — Patrick Stewart, quoted in the New York Times.

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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Aug 25, 2015 02:16 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave, while its kinda sorta nice to see your softer side when it comes to rural Wisconsin, it also tells me you'd rather write about anything other than your sleepy-eyed boy Governor's death spiral in Iowa. If he's going to try to out-Trump Trump, Walker needs to learn to speak English. Flip-flopping word salad ain't goin down too well. The rubes of Iowa (along with the national press corps) seem to be a bit more discerning than the rubes of Wisconsin (and its press).
I know, I know..."Then git your own blog!"

Aug 25, 2015 02:18 pm
 Posted by  AnonyBob

Oops, that was me. I hit the wrong posting button.

Aug 25, 2015 03:32 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Blaska doesn't rip the teachers, he rips their union bosses. Always remember that. He and Kasich and Christie and Trump and Walker. Tough on teachers. Unintimidated. Billionaires and Bucks owners? Plenty intimidated.

Aug 25, 2015 05:40 pm
 Posted by  Mrbillsbrain

Dave, We travelled out to the Hyde Mill in the winter. I believe it is about a mile or two directly EAST of the Hyde Store. It is a beautiful and restful spot- next time you are out there take that little detour.It is worth it. Good story- thanks for writing it!

Aug 25, 2015 06:22 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Umm, I think you meant 80 pounds of milk per day, not gallons. Only off by a factor of 10.

Maybe you have been spending too much time around liberals. They are really bad at math you know.

Aug 25, 2015 07:45 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

BEAT UP ON TEACHER LONG ENOUGH AND YOU WILL HAVE A TEACHER SHORTAGE IN WISCONSIN................OH WAIT, YOU ALREADY DO............BUT THERE IS ALWAYS A "BUSINESS COST EFFECTIVE" METHOD TO HANDLE THAT PROBLEM..........LOWER THE STANDARDS FOR WHO CAN BE IN THE CLASSROOM SUPERVISING THE STUDENT'S EDUCATION.................OH WAIT AGAIN, THAT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED TOO.............SO SAD FOR THE STUDENTS OF OUR STATE.. BLASKA DOESN'T GET IT...........HE LOVE THE TEACHERS BUT DESPISES THEIR UNION BOSSES WHO REPRESENT THEM........HUH

Aug 25, 2015 09:20 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave:

Your statement "The process also eliminates odors while preventing water pollution ", is an absolute falsehood. Anaerobic digestion does nothing to "prevent pollution". It just take some of the H and C and makes methane with the help of some anaerobic bacteria. In no way is the pollution potential of the manure reduced. Proper handling and application is the way to prevent pollution.

I await your retraction.

Aug 26, 2015 08:38 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Why ask blaska for a retraction.

he would have to think, not sure he is capable of thought.

Aug 26, 2015 09:28 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

Yes, 80 pounds of milk or 9-10 gallons. No argument with 09:20 PM. The process reducing ground pollution to which I refer (and think I said) is the manure digester process, i.e., the storage and timely field application — not the anaerobic process.

Aug 26, 2015 09:56 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

"The process also eliminates odors while preventing water pollution from 4,000 cows "

That is what you said. Unless that is code for something else it is wrong.

Anaerobic digestion doesn't change the potential for pollution, but rather captures the methane. (some of the C and H). But the main nutrients from ag runoff that are a concern for water pollution are N and P. The physical consistency may change a bit but the pollution potential is just as great after digestion as before. Some would argue it is worse.

The key to prevention ag pollution to our waterways is proper handling (Dane County problem), application and rate of application.

Research is the heart of truth. Try it.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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