Resource: Wisconsin Farm Center

Wisconsin Farm Center, another resource from the state of Wisconsin and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, releases quarterly newsletters with a wide array of topics. If you are too busy during the growing season, winter may be a great time to catch up on Farm Center newsletters. Another great way to stay up-to-date is to subscribe to their email newsletter.

The Farm Center offers a variety of services to Wisconsin farmers.

UWEX Crop Budget Analyzer

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Ken Williams, an Extension agent in Waushara county has released an updated Crop Budget Analyzer for corn, soybeans, wheat, seeding alfalfa, and established alfalfa. The Budget Analyzer is a downloadable Excel spreadsheet, which can generate handy one page print-outs.

Other UWEX and USDA resources are available to help with pricing and budgeting.

Diversify your Weed Management Toolbox

The Weed Science Society of America recently held an Herbicide Resistance Summit that brought together leading weed scientists from around the world to discuss the future of herbicide resistance at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C. All of the presentations are on YouTube.

If you have 1 minute or 30 minutes, take the time to hear what the Director of the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative, Stephen Powles, says about herbicide resistance in the United States.

Highlights:

Diversify Weed Management

The Transgenic Treadmill

Avoiding the Herbicide Resistance Train Wreck in the United States

Harvest Weed Seed Control

Full Presentation

Event- 2015 Wisconsin Crop Management Conference

The 2015 Wisconsin Crop Management conference will be held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin from January 13 until January 15. To save on advance registration, make sure to submit your form and payment by December 19, 2014.

To access the conference programming, go here for a complete list of events and the registration form. Also, online registration is available here.

Vince Davis, Thomas Butts, and Dan Smith will be presenting at this year’s conference. During the Weed Management section on Wednesday January 14, Vince will be talking about “Efficacy of “new” herbicides and program approaches for resistance management.” Tommy will be discussing his latest research results, “Herbicide-resistant pigweeds (Amaranthus spp.) are in Wisconsin, how serious is it?” Dan will be presenting his research on “Cover crop establishment following commonly applied corn and soybean herbicides in Wisconsin.”

Calling All Farmer Innovators

The organizers of the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days are looking for farmer innovators and inventors. For more information, keep reading.

The 2015 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days to be held at the Statz Bros. Farm in Dane County will feature an “Innovation Square” which will be located in the center of “Tent City”. Farmer innovators are invited to submit their inventions/innovations for consideration as part of “Innovation Square”.

Innovations may range from modifications to an existing piece of machinery to a completely new invention. Anything that would make a specific operation easier , more efficient, or more effective would likely qualify. A panel of judges from University Agricultural Engineering Departments around the country will evaluate the entries on predetermined criteria (see evaluation criteria at www.wifarmtechnologydays.com under “Exhibitors”). A total of 4-5 farmer innovations will be chosen for exhibit in “Innovation Square” each year along with a similar number from agribusiness firms and universities.

There will be no cost to those chosen to be part of “Innovation Square”. Exhibit space will be flexible, based on the amount of room needed to adequately display/demonstrate each invention. Exhibits will need to be accompanied by a farm representative during a significant portion of each day of the three-day show.

Application forms for “Innovation Square” may be found at www.wifarmtechnologydays.com under “Exhibitors”. The application deadline is January 15, 2015.

Legal and Business Structure Workshop

Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection is offering a workshop for farm and food businesses to discuss different types of business structures, property and employment law, and liability insurance issues. For more information, their press release is below:

Media Contact: Ann Marie Ames
608-224-5041 annmarie.ames@wi.gov

Jim Dick, Communications Director
608-224-5020 jim.dick@wi.gov

MADISON – Those who want to learn more about legal issues involved with starting and successfully maintaining farms and food businesses should register for next month’s Legal and Business Structure Workshop, which will take place in four locations around Wisconsin. The workshop is part of the annual Local Food Business Seminar Series, designed to help farmers and food business owners improve business practices.

The workshop speakers are Rachel Armstrong from Farm Commons and Courtney Berner of the UW Center for Cooperatives. This highly informative and interactive workshop will benefit those who are planning to start a food business, have recently done so, or who have been running a successful food business for some time.

Topics will include:

● The pros and cons of different business types including non-profit, S corporation or C corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC and cooperative.

● Property and employment law including short- and long-term farmland leases, incubator kitchen leases, workman’s compensation and laws regarding the hiring of employees and interns.

● Liability insurance issues including those regarding food safety and agritourism.

Armstrong and Berner will travel to four sites to deliver the workshop on four dates from Nov. 3 to Nov. 6. They will be in Waukesha on Nov. 3, Stevens Point on Nov. 4, Gays Mills on Nov. 5 and Madison on Nov. 6. The Madison seminar will be available online as a free webinar.

No matter the location, the cost of the seminar is $15 for the first person from any organization and $10 for any additional participants from the same organization. Something Special from Wisconsin members get a $5 discount.

Each seminar will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Check-in starts at 8:45 a.m. Lunch is included in the cost of the seminar.

To learn the addresses of the seminar site nearest you, to find a complete agenda or to sign up, go to http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Workshops.

To request a link for the webinar or if you have other questions, contact Kietra Olson at (608) 224-5112 or Kietra.olson@wisconsin.gov.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, along with a number of partner organizations, plan the annual Local Business Seminar Series, which will continue monthly through March. The next in the series is food safety from Dec. 1 to Nov. 4. For a complete list, go to http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Workshops.

Agritourism Liability Workshop

A new agritourism liability law went into effect in April 2014. To learn more about how this may effect your farming operation and strategies to comply with the law, consider attending a free workshop on November 12, 2014 in Saukville, WI. Please download this pdf document for more information.

Learn How to Apply for Agricultural Grants

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Farmers and value-added food entrepreneurs can get expert advice from USDA, USDA-SARE, and WI DATCP grant managers on how to apply for grants to improve their food production operations. For more information, see the University of Wisconsin Extension press release below.

Contact: Andrew Bernhardt, 608-890-0097, andrew.bernhardt@ces.uwex.edu

Workshops provide information about applying for agricultural grants
Madison, Wis. – Farmers and other value-added food entrepreneurs can learn strategies to access state and federal grants by attending workshops sponsored by University of Wisconsin-Extension in partnership with Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, DATCP, SARE, USDA Rural Development, FSA, NRCS and several farm credit agency banks.
The workshops, being held during October in Janesville and Montello and during November in Ashland and Shawano, will provide information about potential grants, the basics on putting together a strong grant proposal, cost share programs and other financing options.
Each workshop consists of five main components:

  1. An overview to agricultural grants, grant writing and what makes a strong grant proposal.
  2. A lunch-time presentation from a local grant awardee talking about his/her grant experience.
  3. Description and overview of Ag Grants from grant managers for USDA Value Added Producer Grant, USDA-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant, USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, and WI-DATCP Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant.
  4. A group exercise that allows participants to review actual proposals and gain hands-on experience at grant-writing.
  5. Specific info on other financial options (such as FSA loans, traditional bank loans and NRCS cost share programs) specific to Wisconsin.

Dates, locations and registration:
Oct. 28, 2014 – Janesville; contact: Kim Mork kim.mork@ces.uwex.edu or 608-757-5696
Nov. 4, 2014 – Montello; contact: Lyssa Seefeldt lyssa.seefeldt@ces.uwex.edu or 608-297-3136
Nov. 5, 2014 – Ashland; contact: Jason Fischbach jason.fischbach@ces.uwex.edu or 715-373-6104 ext. 5
Nov. 12, 2014 – Shawano; contact: Jamie Patton jamie.patton@ces.uwex.edu or 715-526-6136

A registration fee of $15 will cover the cost of lunch and materials. Please register at least one week in advance.
For more information about:
VAPG, please go to: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/vapg.htm
ADD, please go to: http://www.datcp.state.wi.us/mktg/business/marketing/val-add/add/index.jsp
SARE, please go to: http://www.northcentralsare.org/
SCBG, please go to: http://datcp.wi.gov/Farms/Crops_and_Specialty_Crops/index.aspx
BLBW, please go to: http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Grants/index.aspx