northern Illinois; • the Menominee’s use of more than 220 acres that would likely be put in trust; • the cost of litigation; • the consequences of a delayed casino opening; • the immediate and long-term impact on our state budget and consequently Wisconsin taxpayers; and, • the cost of indemnifying FCPC. The entire report from Secretary Huebsch can be found here. - See more Business BELOIT, Wis. (AP) — Support- ers of a proposed Ho-Chunk casino in Beloit hope the proposal will move more quickly through federal review now that Gov. Scott Walker has decided against the Menominee Nation’s request to build a casino in Kenosha. City management and Ho-Chunk ofcials held intermittent talks after the tribe bought 32 acres of city land in 2008, and a deal was reached in 2012. But ofcials were told that the Beloit ap - plication was hung up in Washington for months “in part related to the Menominee project” in Kenosha, Beloit city manager Larry Arft said. “I’m hopeful that nally getting a decision will now open the door to the Beloit casino applica- tion to continue forward in the review process,” Arft told The Janesville Gazette. On Friday, Walker denied the Menominee Na- tion’s request for permission to build an off-res- ervation casino in Kenosha, saying it could leave the state owing a rival tribe millions of dollars. The Menominee have been pushing for years to build a casino at Kenosha’s Dairyland Greyhound Park dog track, hoping the facility would pull the tribe out of poverty. But the governor said Friday that the state’s compact with the Forest County Potawatomi requires Wisconsin to refund payments that tribe has made to the state if a Kenosha casino became a reality. The Ho-Chunk Nation is awaiting a federal deci- sion on its application for a casino in Beloit. Ho- Chunk President Jon Greendeer said Friday the news brings nality to “an incredibly long issue,” but the decision isn’t something he’s celebrating. The Environmental Impact Statement for the Beloit casino project is currently at the Bureau of Indian Affairs ofce in Washington, D.C., and is waiting for approval from the ofce before being sent back to the regional BIA ofce in Minnesota. Greendeer told the Beloit Daily News he was still condent their applications would be approved based on a compact the Ho-Chunk Nation has with the state, which permits the Ho-Chunk to build another casino in the state. Ho-Chunk Casino Backers Next In Line Wisconsin Main Street Businesses Have Chance to Win a Full ‘Makeover’ MADISON, WI. Jan. 26, 2015 – Businesses located in one of the 36 Wisconsin Main Street communities have a chance to get a whole new look by entering the Wisconsin Economic De- velopment Corporation’s rst-ever Main Street Makeover contest. > WEDC contest provides downtown stores in 36 communities with chance to win up to $10,000 in upgrades
which under its constitution cannot run a decit over a two-year budget. Gov. Scott Walker also has pledged to make sure the state ends the current scal year on June 30 with a balanced budget, though so far his administration has not detailed publicly any of the potential spending cuts being made to ensure that. The 2015-’17 budget starting in July will be more challenging nancially for Walker and lawmak - ers. The most recent estimates by the nonparti - san Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau project an $824 million gap in the state’s main account between the taxes the state expects to get and the cost of keeping up the state’s current programs. Agriculture DODGEVILLE – Everyone who owns rural land-- both farmers and non-farming land- owners--will ben - et from a whole farm planning workshop to be held on Saturday, February 7th at the Iowa County Health and Human Services bldg. at 303 W. Chapel Street, Dodgeville, WI. The whole farm planning process helps landown - ers assess their land’s natural resources along with its production capacity. It provides a means of bringing all of the pieces together in an inte- grated management plan to achieve nancial, production, and land stewardship goals. “As we’ve worked with landowners on man- aging their grasslands, many have expressed interest in a more comprehensive program to help them understand and manage their whole property,” said Laura Paine Southwest Badger Grazing Broker and coordinator of the workshop. “Although these plans are often called “farm” plans, any piece of land, whether it is current- ly being farmed or not, would benet,” added Paine. “Every property is a unique combination of hills, valleys, streams, springs, forests and open land, each needing site-specic manage - ment.” Participants in the February 7th workshop will be introduced to the framework for whole farm planning as well as gain knowledge of nancial and legal matters, identifying and managing natural resources, and using managed grazing as a conservation practice. Southwest Badger is launching a whole farm planning service (fee- based). Landowners will learn more about the service and writing their own plan, if desired. The program begins at 9 am with an overview of the whole farm planning process followed by a three track breakout series covering a total of nine topics. An economics/legal track will in - clude presentations on use value property tax assessment, understanding lease agreements, and whole farm income options. A natural re - sources track will cover assessing native habi - tats, cropping practices that promote soil health, and protecting your land investment with estate planning and conservation easements. The third track will focus on managing pastures and grass - lands including using livestock grazing for vege - tation management, silvopasturing, and fencing and watering for livestock. Dave Vetrano, a long-time DNR sheries biolo - gist now retired, will wrap up the workshop with a presentation on the natural and human history of Wisconsin’s Driftless area. “Dave’s presenta- tion provides us with context: a way to under- stand how our properties came to be the way they are and what we need to do to manage for long-term land health,” said Paine. Registration for the workshop is $15 ($10 for the second person from the same household). Lunch is provided and a vendor area will be set up with related companies and organizations participat - ing. For more information or to sign up for the Developing a plan for managing your farm or rural property
WFU has a signicant number of members who own dairy and beef cattle operations, making this issue extremely important to both the organization and the family farmers it represents. “I strongly urge anyone who is concerned about the state of the current Beef Checkoff program to submit comments to the USDA today,” Von Ruden said. “This could be our best chance to make sure that our checkoff dollars are working for, rather than against family farmers.” Register Now for Local Foods Marketing Seminar December 8, 2014 Media Contact: Ann Marie Ames 608-224-5041 firstname.lastname@example.org Jim Dick, Communications Director 608-224-5020 email@example.com MADISON – Get ready to improve the way you market your farm or local food business. The Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Local Food Business Seminar Series continues in the New Year with marketing seminars scheduled from Jan. 5 to 8 around Wisconsin. Learn from local food marketing professionals at one of these seminars hosted by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and a number of industry partners. On the agenda: ● Tera Johnson with the UW Extension Food Finance Institute and the Founder of tera’swhey ®, a Madison-based company that supplies whey protein powders made from Wisconsin-produced milk. Johnson will talk about strategic marketing, target marketing, market-based pricing and branding. ● Melissa Pahl, marketing consultant and social media manager at Twenty Marketing, will talk about using social media as part of your communications plan. ● Information about trademarking. This is what participants said about last year’s marketing seminar: ● “Very benecial overview of a sustainable local food business and how to make one.” ● “Very realistic approach.” ● “The lesson was great, but the networking was just as important.” ● “Real-world examples of what other businesses have done. This is rare for workshops but very helpful.” The seminars will be in Waukesha on Jan. 5, Stevens Point on Jan. 6 and Madison on Jan. 8. You need only attend one seminar – choose the location most convenient for you. The three seminars will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Check-in begins at 8:45 a.m. at each location. The cost is $15 for the rst person from each business or organization and $10 for additional mem - bers from the same party. Active Something Special from Wisconsin ™ members get a $5 discount. The cost of registration includes lunch. See the exact locations of the seminar sites, read a complete agenda or register online at http://datcp. wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Workshops . The Madison seminar will be available online as a free webinar. To request a link to watch the webinar, or if you have other questions, contact DATCP’s Kietra Olson at (608) 224-5112 or Kietra.firstname.lastname@example.org. T he Local Food Business Seminar Series includes three more seminars scheduled through March. Each seminar will take place in Waukesha, Stevens Point and Madison. The next in the series is the “Knowing your Buyer” seminar scheduled from Feb. 9 to Feb. 12.
Will Congress Extend Section 179 After All? © Boyce Thompson The worrisome future for a popular federal tax break among farmers just got a little bit brighter. Under a compromise deal reached in Washington, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved a proposal that would both expand the expired Section 179 tax deduction from the current $25,000 to $500,000 and extend the break for one year, to the end of 2014. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure next. If approved by Congress, it could go to the White House early next week for President Obama’s signature, giving farmers and machinery companies an early Christmas present. “If the bill gets signed by the President by this Monday or Tuesday, we still have a good three weeks [before the tax year ends on Dec. 31],” accountant Paul Nieffer said on AgriTalk Wednesday. “That gives our farmers a lot more time to get out and nd the right piece of equipment. They’re not scrambling to buy a piece of equipment because they know they can deduct it.” Listen to the full interview here. If the measure passes as expected, it would be a win, but also a close shave for farmers and machinery companies. Section 179 allows business owners to depreciate the cost of equipment in the year it was purchased, rather than spreading it over a period of years, giving farmers a chance for a major one-time tax de - duction. As a result, it has created a behavior pattern for farmers’ machinery purchases. “Every year since 2003, auction prices [for farm equipment] have gone up in November and Decem - ber,” said farm machinery expert Greg Peterson, also known as Machinery Pete . “Farmers have been trained to think of equipment purchases—new or used—as a way to minimize taxes.” But the status of that deduction has been questionable after Congress failed to extend the break when it expired in 2013, leaving farmers with just a limited $25,000 Section 179 deduction. “That doesn’t account for a sneeze on a $450,000 [piece of farm equipment],” Peterson said. The situation has left Peterson elding question after question from farmers, implement dealers, and even auctioneers wondering whether Section 179 would be extended. “It has been a growing crescen- do the second half of the year,” he said. It’s also a critical issue for machinery companies, which are already seeing their business hammered by low crop prices. Earlier this year, Deere and Co. laid off hundreds of workers, citing slowing de - mand for its agricultural machinery. In November, it reported that it expected its net sales to drop 15 percent next year. “Farmer sentiment is being negatively impacted by the outlook for deteriorating farm econom- ics, and we are experiencing softer industry equipment demand in all major markets,” said Mar- tin Richenhagen, AGCO’s chairman, president, and CEO, in the company’s third-quarter nancial release . “Industry demand in North America has weakened with signicant declines in sales of high-horsepower tractors, combines and sprayers, partially offset by growth in the lower-horse- power categories due to improved conditions in the region’s dairy and livestock sectors.” Against that backdrop, machinery companies are hoping for good news from Washington. “One factor that will greatly impact and improve production and sales levels for agricultural machinery compa-
But this week the Democrats in those races said they would not seek recounts, conceding the races to Republicans. In one race, Republican Dave Heaton defeated Rep. Mandy Wright (D-Wausau). In another, Republi - can Todd Novack defeated Democrat Dick Cates for the seat being vacated by Rep. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), who is moving on to the state Senate. Wright and Cates conceded the races this week after the ofcial canvasses were completed. Wright lost by 85 votes and Cates by 64 votes. The new GOP majority will be the largest in the Assembly since the 1957 legislative session. Year of A Better Bottom Line: Governor Scott Walker Announces $600,000 in Wis - consin Fast Forward Grants to Train Work - ers with Disabilities Thursday, November 13, 2014 - Press Release Milwaukee/Marsheld – Governor Scott Walker announced today the intent to award more than $600,000 in worker training grants to help more than 200 persons with disabili - ties develop demand-driven skills to reach their employment goals. The grants are supported through Governor Walker’s $35.4 million Wisconsin Fast Forward -- Blueprint for Prosperity initiative, which invests in worker training to move Wisconsin’s working families along a path toward greater prosper - ity and independence. Governor Walker made the announcements at the St. Ann Center for Intergen - erational Care in Milwaukee and at the Opportunity Development Center in Marsheld today. “This year, we proclaimed the Year of A Better Bottom Line to encourage and promote employment opportunities for people with disabilities,” Governor Walker said. “Today, I am pleased to announce additional support to prepare more than 200 workers with disabilities for careers across Wisconsin. Not only will this help workers, but with their diverse strengths and skills, it will improve a compa- ny’s bottom line and spur economic growth.” During his 2014 State of the State address, Governor Walker proposed a $35.4 million expansion of the Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) worker training program as part of his Blueprint for Prosperity. The additional funds will support efforts to reduce technical college wait lists in high-demand elds; grow collaborative projects among school districts, technical colleges, and businesses; and enhance employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Governor Walker’s A Better Bottom Line is tailored after Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s initiative with the National Governor’s Association, which details the vast benets for employers, employees, and communities. Also, the state is expanding Project SEARCH, a program helping young people with disabilities tran - sition from high school to the workplace. An additional $850,000 in Blueprint for Prosperity funds will support the expansion of the number of participating businesses by 20, up from seven, over three years. The Department of Workforce Development’s Ofce of Skills Development is administering the grant program.
“It’s going to be a low-impact kind of program when you look at it statewide,” Fitzgerald said. Fitzgerald, like Vos, said that like other Republicans he wants to nd more money for transportation. Fitzgerald said he was still exploring the best way to do that because his caucus would not support an increase in the gas tax and doesn’t want to rely too much on borrowing for roads. “We don’t have the silver bullet on that one,” he said. “I think everybody would be relieved if we could nd a solution that would get the transportation fund back on track.” Fitzgerald has led the Senate Republicans — in the majority and minority — since 2007. He also served as their leader for a couple of months in 2004. He was re-elected as majority leader on Thursday without opposition. Lazich beat Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) to become Senate president. Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere), who had earlier sought the post, did not ultimately run. As president, Lazich will preside over Senate sessions and sit on the leadership committee that de- cides what bills get taken up on the oor. She will also have a role in determining how legislation is shaped because the Senate president decides which committees get which bills. Lazich will replace outgoing Sen. Mike Ellis (R-Neenah), who did not seek re-election after more than 40 years in the Legislature. The position of Senate president was created in 1979 after voters adopted a constitutional amendment that ended having the lieutenant governor preside over Senate proceedings. Lazich will become the fth president of the Senate. In other votes, GOP senators elected Sen. Paul Farrow of Pewaukee as assistant majority leader, Sen. Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls as caucus chairwoman and Sen. Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac as president pro tem. Assembly leader says he supports tolls to build roads Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report. By: Associated Press November 5, 2014 2:08 pm State Rep. John Nygren (left), co-chairman of the Legisla - ture’s budget committee, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos laugh before a news conference Wednesday in Madison in which they discussed the Republican agenda for next year. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer) MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Assembly Republican Speaker Robin Vos is outlining his plan for the next two-year legis- lative session. Tuesday’s elections gave the GOP at least 61 seats in the chamber, with Republicans leading Democrats in two other races that are too close to call. Vos told reporters Wednesday that he supports toll roads as a way of providing money for road-build- ing projects.
Besides Dane County, other counties with the BadgerCare referendum on the ballot include: Milwau- kee, Dunn, La Crosse, Lincoln, Florence and Iron. Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, said many of the counties are Republican-leaning, suggesting concern over how to insure state residents is a nonpartisan issue. It also suggests many Republican ofcials across the state are opposed to the decision by Walker and the Republican-controlled state Legislatures to turn down the money. In February of 2013, Walker delivered his budget address and conrmed what many had suspected was coming; he was not going to accept roughly $200 million in federal funding to expand the state’s BadgerCare program. That decision left 87,000 sate residents ineligible for the subsidized health care program. “Walker’s decision not to take the federal money is consistently proving to be one of his most unpop- ular decisions,” Kraig said. Burke votes against Madison school tax increase MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke has voted against raising property taxes as a member of the Madison school board. The Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/12Wv1uC ) reports Burke cast the lone “no” vote Monday night. Her vote comes eight days before she faces Gov. Scott Walker in the Nov. 4 election. Burke voted against a similar tax increase in a preliminary school budget. The school board voted 6-1 to approve the nal budget that will increase property taxes about 4 percent. Burke said she could not support increasing taxes on taxpayers who are being squeezed. Walker points to Burke’s votes as a member of the school board for tax increases in 2012, but then votes in 2013 and in June against them as a sign that she’ll do anything to get elected. Information from: Wisconsin State Journal Wisconsin Ranks 43rd on State Business Tax Climate Index Benecial reforms improve individual and corporate tax structures Washington, DC (Oct 28, 2014)—Wisconsin has the 43rd best tax climate in the U.S. according to the latest edition of the State Business Tax Climate Index, released this morning by the nonpartisan Tax Foun- dation. Although Wisconsin’s overall score has not changed since last year, the state repealed its invento- ry tax on rental property, improving its property tax system from 36th to 31st best, and conformed mineral depletion to federal schedules, improving its corporate tax system from 30th to 25th best. “Wisconsin’s reform efforts in the last two legislative sessions were positive steps in a state that has ranked poorly on our Index for many years,” said Tax Foundation Economist and Manager of State Projects Scott Drenkard. “As the tax reform debate heats up, I am looking forward to what the next session produces.” The report, now in its 11th edition, measures how well structured each state’s code is by analyzing
preliminary unemployment rate fell to a preliminary 5.5% in September, down from a revised 5.7% in August and 6.6% in September 2013. Those gures, however, are seasonally adjusted and cannot be compared to the nonseasonally adjusted gures. Wisconsin’s Nov. 4 gubernatorial election, which pits incumbent Republican Scott Walker against Democrat Mary Burke, has hinged on job creation and economic management. Economists say metro-area jobs data is unreliable and subject to signicant revisions. The govern - ment bases its monthly metro area ndings on extremely sparse sample sizes, which don’t even in - clude many of the cities and counties where they need to measure employment. So they use mathe- matical models to prorate statewide trends, creating such a wide margin of error that the government won’t even quantify it. Nitrate test results highlight groundwater issues Sari Lesk, Stevens Point Journal Media 11:01 p.m. CDT October 22, 2014 A participant in one of the county’s groundwater listening sessions adds an idea to the pool collected Wednesday re- garding what is going well with water in the county. (Photo: SARI LESK/STEVENS POINT JOURNAL MEDIA ) PLOVER – Nearly 70 percent of groundwater samples test- ed during a groundwater listening session Wednesday night showed unsafe levels of nitrates. Nineteen samples were tested at the listening session, which was held at the Plover Town Hall, and 13 of those water sam- ples contained nitrate levels that are considered unsafe for consumption. One sample tested Wednes- day contained more than 31 milligrams of nitrates per liter; 10 milligrams per liter or fewer is consid- ered safe. The results of the free sampling highlight one of the reasons many Portage County residents and leaders have started a conversation on the issue. About 40 people attended the fourth of 10 listening sessions scheduled by County Executive Patty Dreier; the sessions will continue until early February. Those who attended the session identied a lack of awareness regarding problems with water and a habit of overuse as some of the problems with water the county faces. When Dreier asked participants what they thought was going well with water in the county, attendees listed readily available water testing, improved water quality in some areas and the economic value of the agriculture industry in central Wisconsin. But conicting practices and regulations among municipalities in the county, contamination of the water from various sources and a need for more planning to protect the resource pose a variety of problems, they said. Dreier surveyed the group for ideas on how to guide groundwater in the future, which led to sugges- tions ranging from legislation to local actions such as education and municipal ordinances. Dreier said she sees the value in talking about the issue on a broader scale, such as statewide, but still sees importance in also taking action at the local level.
did in the 201-’14 school year, according to nalied gures released Wednesday by the Department of Public Instruction. But because of increases in per-pupil funding for private voucher schools and charter schools, the state directed more money to those schools in Milwaukee than ever before, said DPI spokesman John Johnson. The voucher per-pupil payment went up $768 for every K-8 voucher student and $1,414 for every high school voucher student, as part of the state budget approved by Gov. Scott Walker and GOP lawmakers. Previously, voucher schools received a state payment of $6,442 per student. The funding for voucher schools in Milwaukee — $191 million this school year — comes from reducing aid to Milwaukee Public Schools by $61.1 million and direct state funding of $129.9 million. Funding for independent charter schools increased by the same amount as public schools, $150 per full-time pupil. But the 22 independent charters in Milwaukee and one in Racine received more aid overall because of growing enrollment in those schools. Nearly all districts in the state see a little bit of their aid reduced to pay for the total $68.6 million for independent charter schools. In all, the state will provide $4.48 billion in general aid to schools for the 2014-’15 school year, a 2.1% increase from last year. The total this year is up by $94.4 million from last year. But that’s before you account for the reduc- tions to public school districts for the voucher and charter schools. General aid is the largest source of funding for K-12 public schools. Districts can also raise money per-pupil through local property taxes. Some suburban Milwaukee school districts saw signicant increases in state aid, most notably Green - eld (9.64%), Greendale (8.65%) and West Allis (7.8%). Most of the larger school districts also saw increases, including Appleton (9.06%), Racine (7.47%) and Madison (4.06%). General aid for Milwaukee Public Schools will remain about the same, increasing less than 1% from last school year. According to the state, MPS will receive nearly $538 million in general aid this fall, up from about $534 million last year. Then there’s the Pewaukee School District. Its state aid increased 150% from last year, by far the big - gest aid increase among all districts. Pewaukee District Assistant Superintendent John Gahan attributed this to a 6% growth in resident student population and a decline in property values. “The increase doesn’t provide us with additional funding,” said Gahan. “All this means is property
employers registered thus far have job openings that total nearly 3,000, and he urged job seekers to register now for the recruiting event October 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Shopko Hall in Green Bay. “This is an event job seekers in the Bay Area denitely should attend, and they should act now to register and get an entry ticket” Secretary Newson said. “Nearly 120 employers have reserved space. Even more impressive this year, our third in sponsoring a Bay Area Career Expo, is the number of employment opportunities. The total is approaching 3,000, well above the job openings in earlier expos, and it’s another sign of Wisconsin’s improving economy.” A list of registered employers is available online at www.WisconsinCareerExpo.com. Other employers interested in registering can learn details and register online at the site. The employer registration deadline is October 3. The rst Bay Area Career Expo in 2012 and the second expo event last fall each drew more than 100 employers with approximately 1,700 job openings. A wide variety of jobs are available, from skilled production jobs paying $30 or more an hour to entry level positions that can lead better jobs as individuals gain work experience and build skills. Job seekers are strongly encouraged to register in advance to benet from Job Center staff assistance before the event and ensure immediate access when the expo doors open. To do so, they must com- plete a simple registration process: 1. Visit www.JobCenterofWisconsin.com , and register or update your information; 2. Use the Job Seeker Tools on the site to create or update a resume and complete a self-assessment survey (be sure to print copies for the nal step); and 3. Complete a work readiness session with an employment specialist at a local Job Center to review the resume and self-assessment survey, review steps in the job application process, and receive an admission ticket. Work readiness sessions are available during regular Job Center hours now through Wednesday, October 8. For more information, visit www.WisconsinCareerExpo.com , or view https://www.youtube.com/ user/wiworkforce . Manufacturing indicator surges in September; employers stay cautious Scott Paulus The Marquette-ISM Report on Manufacturing looks at new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries and inventories. As several key manufacturing segments heat up in southeast Wisconsin and in northern Illinois – one of the most concentrated areas for manufac- turing in the nation – 60 percent of manufactur- ers expect positive market conditions, according to the Marquette-ISM Report on Manufacturing for September. And with none of the respondents expecting con- ditions to get worse, this is one report that underscores the notion that the economy is getting stron- ger, said Doug Fisher , director of the Center for Supply Chain Management and assistant professor at Marquette University in Milwaukee . “I have to work pretty hard to be my usual pretty conservative self,” Fisher said. “And if I weren’t doing well in manufacturing right now, I’d have to take the economy off the table because all of these segments are strong…incredibly strong.”
●10to11:30a.m.–PastureorageSelection,ertilityandCoverCrops.ThemoderatorisMark Kopecky, Organic Valley agronomist. Panel members include Karl Dallefeld of Prairie Creek seeds, Dan Olson of Byron Seeds and agronomist Dan Undersander of UW-Madison. Learn about forage speciesselection,fertility,andhowcovercropscantintoagrazingprogram. ●11:30a.m.–LearnaboutDairyGrazingApprenticeshipsfromProgramDirectorJoeTomandl. ●Noonto1:30p.m.–(Cross)BreedingtheIdealDairyGrazingCow.ThemoderatorisRhonda Gildersleeve with UW Extension. Learn about experienced graziers’ breed preferences for dairy grazing systems, as well as breeding strategies and cow/bull selection criteria. ●1:30to3p.m.–MaximizingYourGrazingAcres.ThemoderatorisDATCPLivestockSpecialist Jeff Swenson. Learn about using sexed semen to breed high-producing cows and using beef semen to breed others. The panel includes Judd Hanson, Assistant Vice President of U.S Strategic Marketing, Genex CRI, Shawano; Anthony Ekren, Dairy Beef Sales and Marketing, Wulf Cattle, Morris, Minnesota; Jerry Wulf, president, Wulf Cattle; Mark Opitz, dairy farmer, Belmont. Another way DATCP is supporting the diversity of Wisconsin’s dairy industry is through a $50,000 dairy innovation grant to the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program. This project, supported by the nonprotorganizationGrassworks,hasbeendesignedtoeducateandsupportfarmerswhowantto independently own farms or who want to expand their grazing careers. The program also works to help beginning farmers develop business plans and to help retiring farmers develop farm transition plans. “Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship is doing its part to strengthen the dairy industry in the state and the region by training the next generation of dairy farmers,” said Program Director Joe Tomandl. The apprenticeship comprises 4,000 hours of training in two years, which is the equivalent of a full- time job. More than 3,700 of those hours are dedicated to on-farm work experience with an approved Master Dairy Grazier. Other programing includes paid instruction, pasture walks, industry confer- ences and peer-to-peer discussions. The grant money will be used for recruitment and support of apprentices, support for Master Graziers workingwithapprentices,professionaldevelopmentofMasterGraziers,farmtransitionandnancial planning and program administration. Learn more at www.dairygrazingapprenticeship.org . Wisconsin’s sand mining industry poised for growth By Lee Bergquist of the Journal Sentinel | Sept. 25, 2014 Wisconsin’s burgeoning sand mining industry is poised for more growth, with environmental organizations say- ing Thursday the controversial practice could expand to two dozen additional counties. Mines and other sand facilities are located in about 20 counties in western Wisconsin. Sand mines could also pop up in other states outside the hotbeds of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, as oil industry demand for sand continues to grow, the groups said. Wisconsin is the leading supplier of industrial sand in the United States, according to the U.S. Geolog- ical Survey.