Walker to let feds create health insurance exchange

In a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has notified the federal government the state will have the feds set up a health care exchange called for under the Affordable…

World Dairy Expo sets new records

The Wisconsin Ag Connection reported that this year’s World Dairy Expo attracted a record number of attendees from over 90 different countries. Breed sales resulted in the World Classic 2012 Holstein Sale averaging $33,111 per lot, which was the highest…

UW Center for Dairy Research gets $1 million federal grant

The Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research has been awarded one of seven $1 million Challenge grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce to support an effort to commercialize research ideas that will positively impact economic development. CDR, along with state,…

As the dust settles, the drought of 2012 still a hot topic for some

The world may be greener and the air crisper and cooler as summer slouches into fall, but the epic drought of 2012 is not through with Wisconsinites just yet. The impact on many farmers of this season’s unusually hot and dry weather may be felt well into next year – and consumers will likely feel the heat again when they look to put meat on their families’ tables in the first part of 2013.

La Crosse Tribune: Small farmers struggle with drought

(AP) - Chris Covelli planted 1,000 zucchini seeds on his farm in southern Wisconsin this spring. Only a quarter sprouted in the parched soil. A few weeks later, he planted 1,000 more seeds and doubled his irrigation. This time, nothing…

Farm Succession Is Tricky Business

On the surface, things have never been better in terms of farm succession. Wisconsin farmers collectively earned an estimated $2.4 billion in net farm income last year, which would set an all-time record. The value of farmland, and the demand for it, has rarely been higher and stronger. Healthy commodity prices have made it easier to run a farm profitably, and Wisconsin farmers are increasingly finding customers overseas. In Dane County alone, farming is a $3 billion annual economic driver.

Weed Man's Kurth Sows Seeds of a Good Life

Terry "Weed Man" Kurth's success in the residential landscape business is proof positive that personality, knowing the right people, and a whole lotta moxie can fuel a career. For it seems Kurth, 58, an area native, has as many stories to tell as he has grass seeds to sow.

America’s Veggieland?

Home to over 1 million cows, Wisconsin still rightfully deserves its America’s Dairyland moniker, and when it comes to crops, even a casual observer of our countryside can see that corn is king. What I’m not sure of is whether Wisconsinites realize what a player our state is when it comes to growing vegetables.

Milking Price Spikes Just a Bit Longer

As Wisconsin farmers approached the 2011 planting season, optimism was higher, even though they are still in recovery mode from the disastrous years of 2008 and 2009. Milk prices have been well above the break-even point for much of the year, and food inflation has driven commodity prices higher across the board. But input costs such as fuel, seed, and fertilizer also are high, which means margins are not as healthy as the milk and crop prices might suggest.

Dishing the Dirt Here & There

A Madison Web business is using $1 million in venture capital to simply spread the word about its existence to people engaged in buying and selling local food.

Larry Swalheim in Antarctica: Knocking One Off the

Landmark Services Co-op CEO Larry Swalheim doesn't look like a daring adventurer, but you'd be surprised what he lived through during a February 2010 trip to the bottom of the world, Antarctica. The trip knocked one of the remaining things off of his personal "Bucket List," but it's doubtful that anything remaining will compare to it because he could easily have kicked the bucket.

A Day with a CEO: IB Goes to Landmark's Headquarters

A message board spans the entire wall of Larry Swalheim's office, tracking dozens of names and appointments and, for handy reference, a variety of ways to enhance producer profitability and exceed customer expectations. The CEO of Landmark Services Cooperative (LSC) is, by definition and necessity, a multi-tasker who closely corresponds with all involved in the co-op, establishing tight bonds while trying to have the right answers at his fingertips.

Farmer's stance on use of Bovine Growth Hormone vindicated?

Wisconsin farmer Nick Kirch still remembers the day his ex-wife came home in tears after being verbally lambasted by a co-worker. It was 1993, and the Food and Drug Administration had just given farmers the green light to inject their cows with a controversial product called bovine growth hormone. Kirch's wife, a registered nurse at Meriter Hospital, was then confronted by another nurse, who went off on an anti-farm riff that left her shaken.

In Business magazine