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Rotational grazing is a form of production agriculture that livestock operations of all sizes can use to lower costs of production, benefit the environment, and bring more flexibility to their schedules.

Click here to explore if rotational grazing could be right for your operation.

Apr. 21, 2021

Fox Valley Technicial College is offereing Farm Safety & Equipment classes this summer.  Learn how to operate a tractor over 20 PTO horsepower, including how to connect and disconnect equipment and equipment parts.  Please click to view the flyer with a list of dates the course is offered from June through August of 2021. 

For more information or to register please visit https://classes.fvtc.edu/

 

Apr. 14, 2021

It can be difficult for farmers and ranchers to navigate the wide range of USDA resources and stay up to date with program changes after each Farm Bill. Thanks to the newly updated Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities, producers, researchers, nonprofits and landowners can easily find USDA programs that can help them achieve their goals.

The 101-page guide covers 62 government programs and has been updated to include program updates from the 2018 Farm Bill. Each program listing provides a description of the program’s available resources, information on how to apply, and in some cases, examples of how the funding has been used. The guide also includes basic information on how to design sound projects, find appropriate programs and write grant applications.

“Farmers are hungry for resources to help them get started or answer specific questions. Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities provides a comprehensive, one-stop-shop to many helpful programs,” says Kerri Ebert, coordinator of the Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops. 

Click here to download the FREE PDF.  Print copies are also available by emailing pubs@ncat.org with your request.
 

Jan. 26, 2021

Use of cereal grain forages, such as rye and triticale (hybrid of rye and wheat), has become an increasingly important topic, and is especially relevant during years when feed inventory is short. However, it is not without challenges. Timing can conflict with higher priority tasks on the farm such as alfalfa harvest and corn planting in spring, and corn silage harvest and manure application in the fall. Therefore establishing and harvesting rye or triticale can be a challenge. Click here for the full article from UW-Madison Division of Extension.

 

Jan. 20, 2021

Release Date: July 1, 2020
Media Contacts: Rick Hummell, Public Information Officer, 608-224-5041 richard.hummell@wi.gov

MADISON – As of July 1, Wisconsin farmers facing increased stress and other challenges can access additional free and confidential counseling resources by contacting the Farm Center at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

As part of a new pilot program, the Farm Center can now connect callers to a 24/7 Farmer Wellness Hotline. The hotline can be reached at 1-888-901-2558. Licensed mental health professionals contracted by the department will provide immediate, in-the-moment care.

In addition to the 24/7 hotline, long-term options are available:
• Callers can schedule ongoing tele-health counseling sessions from a contracted licensed counselor based in Wisconsin, with referrals made through the 24/7 hotline or through the Wisconsin Farm Center (1-800-942-2474);
• Persons who prefer an in-person session can request to meet with a local provider through the Farm Center’s longstanding Counseling Voucher Program.
“The 24/7 Farmer Counseling Hotline is available around the clock as a welcoming ear for farmers who need to talk through a challenging time in their life,” said Farm Center Director Jayne Krull. “We hope that this initial pilot program will help us better understand whether a 24/7 hotline and tele-counseling are viable tools for our farmers with mental health needs.”

This pilot program is made possible by funding that was provided in Governor Tony Evers’ 2019-2021 biennial budget and approved by the state legislature. The 24/7 hotline and tele-counseling services are two of several initiatives developed by the Farm Center in response to increased challenges faced by the agricultural industry.

In June, the Farm Center launched ‘Rural Realities,” a podcast offering advice to farmers and farm service providers about managing stress and anxiety. To listen to the podcast, visit FarmCenter.wi.gov. Later this month, the Farm Center will begin hosting QPR trainings (Question-Persuade-Refer) for people who work closely with farmers, so they can learn how to identify the warning signs of a suicide crisis and direct the person to appropriate resources.

Since the mid-1980s, the Farm Center, part of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), has provided a variety of farmer services including financial and business consultation, farm succession planning, conflict mediation, and consultation related to production opportunities and challenges. For more information, contact FarmCenter@wisconsin.gov.

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July 1, 2020


Click here for the most up to date resources for Managing a Farm During COVID-19.  This link is updated daily and has resources about finances, social distancing, farm continuation, safety, COVID-19 facts, and more. 

COVID-19 Resources:
- Coronavirus Food Assistance Act Information
- CDC Posters in English & Spanish
- Suicide Prevention Resources for Supporting Farmers
- Legal Obligations for Farms with Employees During COVID-19
- How to Prioritize Debt Payments
- Strategies to Reduce Milk Production
- Considerations for 3x to 2x Milking
- Feeding Unpasteurized Milk to Dairy Cattle Guidelines and Amounts
- Feeding Unpasteurized Milk to Dairy Cattle Online Nutrient Calculator Tool
- Alternative Forages Webinar Recordings
- Meat Establishment Directory
- Dairy Plant Directory
- Farm Visitor Check List
- Guidelines for Farm Employers - english language
- Guidelines for Farm Employers - spanish language
- UW Extension Agriculture COVID Response YouTube Channel


COVID-19: Social Distancing for Farmers: Agriculture as an essential business, meaning that as many of us shelter at home, farmers and agribusiness workers are expected to continue doing their jobs during this pandemic despite the risks. OSHA’s Guidance for Preparing Workplace for COVID-19 technically classifies this sort of work as “Lower Exposure Risk” (p. 20) and has several recommendations consistent with “social distancing” (p. 8-10). This document here explains social distancing for farmers and how to incorporate it into their farm operations with three main points. First, keeping your distance from people you interact with for work. Second, more cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. Third, creating a system for service providers coming on to your farm and when you visit business.  Click here for more information.


Beware of scams: The government will not ask for your banking account or other personal information to issue your stimulus check. If you receive suspicious calls, emails, or even mail about this or anything else, contact Wisconsin's Consumer Protection Hotline first: 800-422-7128 or DATCPHotline@wisconsin.gov


Emergency planning: Now's a great time to create/review your plans. Be sure to have protocol in place if someone gets sick. Keep a mental (or written) note of visitors each day. If someone on your farm tests positive, this will help health officials quickly reach anyone who was in contact with them. 


Please watch out for one another: Farmers are among the most likely to die by suicide, compared with other occupations, according to a January study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study also found that suicide rates overall had increased by 40% in less than two decades.  If you or someone you know is feeling this way, please remind them: 

  • That feeling of pain, despair, and hopelessness can be overwhelming and can overpower even the strongest of people. There is no weakness is asking for help; it's actually one of the hardest things to do.
  • Please talk to someone. It doesn't have to be a professional. 
  • Remember those that love and care about them and how much they will be missed and what they will miss out on (i.e. graduations, weddings, birthdays, and every day). The person's family is not better off without them, they are better off with them here. 
  • Their community needs them too. They may not realize the importance they have in their community, but I can guarantee they do. 
  • Please do not make a permanent decision for a temporary situation. Sometimes it's easier to talk to someone you don't know, if that's the case, please call:

Brown County Crisis Center Services (24/7)COVID Banner
920-436-8888
 
Wisconsin Farm Center (7:45 am to 4:30 pm)
800-942-2474
Free counseling vouchers are available!!
 
Suicide Hotline
800-273-8255

Mar. 20, 2020