Help fight invasive species with the Wisconsin First Detector Network

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University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Mark Renz and Tony Summers will be offering online training to the public on invasive species identification. For more information about the Wisconsin First Detector Network, please read their press release below.

Invasive species are expanding throughout the state of Wisconsin each year. While these species are often overlooked, they are impacting our state’s economy, environment, and even human health. Wisconsin’s First Detector Network (WIFDN) was established in 2014 to train citizen scientists help prevent these impacts by looking for and reporting invasive species. In the inaugural year we trained over 100 people that contributed over 700 hours towards this effort.
In 2015 we are seeking additional members to train (existing members can participate for free). What does it take to become a WIFDN volunteer?
1. Passion for protecting Wisconsin from invasive species

2. Register for training videos/webinars ($30 registration fee, see below)

3. Volunteer 24 hours of service towards invasive species monitoring or education

Participants will receive detailed training on invasive species biology, impacts, and identification as well as the opportunity to participate in projects specifically designed for WIFDN members.
It all begins March 13th with the first of 5 biweekly webinars.
Click here to register for the 2015 WIFDN training. Registration is $30 and open until March 26, 2015. If you cannot afford the registration limited scholarships are available please contact us!
See our website for more details about WIFDN and the training session: fyi.uwex.edu/wifdn
Tony Summers, WIFDN Coordinator; PHONE: 608 262-9570; asummers2@wisc.edu

Farm Financial Management Workshops for Women Farmers

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University of Extension Rusk and Taylor counties will be hosting Annie’s Project Financial Management workshops on February 25 and March 4. For more information, read Sandy Stuttgen’s news release below.

February 2015
Contact: Sandy Stuttgen, 715-748-3327, sandy.stuttgen@ces.uwex.edu,

Annie’s Project Financial Management Workshop scheduled for February and March

Medford, Wis. – University of Wisconsin-Extension Rusk and Taylor Counties are hosting a two day Annie’s Project on Farm Financial Management. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 25 and Wednesday, March 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jump River Community Center in Jump River, Wisconsin.

This workshop series is for farm women who are interested in learning or improving their farm financial management, which is part of the fabric of farm life. The series will be inter-active between speakers and participants with in-class exercises.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to Financial Management
  • Records and Recordkeeping Systems
  • Filing Important Family Papers
  • Management Reports including the Balance Sheet and Income Statement
  • Analysis and Interpretation of Financial Statements
  • Benchmarking of Financial Position and Performance
  • Decision Making Tools including Budgets

The cost of the program is $40 which includes materials and lunch both days. Brochures and registration information are available by contacting UW-Extension Taylor County office at 715-748-3327 or http://taylor.uwex.edu/ .

Annie’s project is an opportunity for farm women to learn about farm management skills by providing resources and information to improve farming operations. Class sizes are small which allows for opportunities to network with other farm women in similar situations.

UW Returning to the Farm Workshop

From Joy Kirkpatrick at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Profitability:

Returning to the Farm workshop helps farm families plan for farm succession

Madison, Wis. – UW Center for Dairy Profitability, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Wisconsin-Extension are offering a workshop to help farm families plan for a son, daughter or partner to return to the farm and eventually take over the farm business. The four-day workshop will be offered on the UW-Platteville campus. The dates are Jan. 16 and 17 and Feb. 13 and 14, 2015.

Families looking toward the future of their farming operations have many issues to consider. Two issues of extreme importance to the future life of the business are the development of a son, daughter, or partner to be the future manager of the business and the creation of a succession plan. The Returning to the Farm workshop helps families make these plans.

Returning to the Farm is open to all farm families who want to learn more about planning for farm succession. Families are expected to participate in both sessions. At the end of the February session, families will have action steps to move forward with a plan.

Through this program, farm businesses will:
Determine if an existing operation is large enough to support an additional partner.
Uncover alternatives for the transfer of farm assets.
Recognize personalities and learn to work with each individual’s strengths.
Write long- and short-term business and family goals.
Learn how to address issues in a multiple generation farm business.
Hear the current issues and information on the tax implications of farm transfer.
Understand the tools of estate planning and business succession planning.
Receive business succession and estate planning resources.
The registration fee for this four-day program is $300 per farming unit (up to four people per farm). This includes materials, meeting room costs, refreshment breaks and lunches. The registration deadline is January 9, 2014. If more than four people attend from a farming unit, $75 will be charged for each participant over four.

For more information about the program or to register contact Joy Kirkpatrick, UW Center for Dairy Profitability Outreach Specialist at 608-263-3485 or by email joy.kirkpatrick@ces.uwex.edu . Returning to the Farm is funded by UW-Center for Dairy Profitability, UW-Platteville, and UW-Extension.

Resource: AgrAbility of Wisconsin

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Do you know a farmer with a physical, cognitive, or illness-related disability that needs help? University of Wisconsin Extension and Easter Seals Wisconsin sponsor the AgrAbility program that provides free services. For example, they will conduct “on-site assessments to identify barriers to completing tasks both in the agricultural workplace and the home”. Also, they will recommend appropriate “assistive technologies (equipments/tools/devices), modified work practices, and/or other possible solutions to overcoming disability-related limitations.”

Agri-View recently featured an AgrAbility client. The program has a 98% success rate over the past 23 years.

They are currently in the process of re-designing their website but in the meantime, check out their Facebook page. A Facebook account is not required to access most of the content.

More Winter Reading, the 2014 WCWS Research Report

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Yep, it is that time of year. Winter is setting in and the 2014 WCWS Research Report is here to chase away the winter blues. Print copies will be distributed at the Pest Management Update meetings and at the Wisconsin Crop Management conference. Check out our Documents page again in December for an updated report with yield data.

USDA New Farmer Program

The USDA has created a program for people who wish to begin farming. They have put together a website with many helpful resources for anyone who is starting out in the industry. The video attached below demonstrates what the website has to offer including how to find a USDA Service Center near you.

Here is a link to their website:

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/newfarmers?navid=newfarmers\

Author: Jessica Taylor

Jessica Taylor is working as an undergraduate research assistant for WCWS at the Arlington Agricultural Research Station for the summer. She is currently studying Agri-Business and Ag Production at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, CO. After she completes her sophomore year, she is planning on transferring to a four-year college and completing her degree in Agriculture Education.

NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program Renewals Due Soon

If your Conservation Stewardship Program contract is about to expire, then it is time to renew before September 12, 2014. Contact your local National Resources Conservation office. For more information, see the NRCS website.

Resources for Wisconsin Farmers, Part II

The Wisconsin Farm Center, at the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, offers a variety of services and resources for farmers.

  • Farm Mediation and Arbitration Program- contact the program or read the brochure. The Center has also produced a legal guide, available as a pdf document.
  • Rural Electric Power Services Program– farm re-wiring resources
  • Focus on Energy Program– funding for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy installations. This includes commercial agribusiness, dairy and livestock farms, grain facilities, aquaculture facilities, and irrigation systems.
  • Financial Counseling offers more than budget worksheets and articles. To speak with a financial analyst, contact the main office at (608) 224-5012.
  • Employment Resources can help with an off-farm job search. They can provide assistance with a variety of job hunting tasks including identifying transferable skills, composing a resume, or finding training opportunities.