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‘Lands We Share’ exhibit helps give farmers a voice

There was a time when if you didn’t grow up on a farm, you at least knew a farmer. Times have changed. In 2018, Wisconsin lost 638 dairy farms – a 7.25 percent decline, according to the latest data from the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. It’s the biggest decline since records started in 2004. “It’s a part of life that not many people get to live,” says Stephanie Kate Hoff. “I think it’s special.”She knows firsthand. The UW–Madison life sciences communication major grew up on a farm in Thorp, Wis., that raised pigs and beef cattle.

UK to resume shipments of beef, lamb to Japan

After more than 20 years, trade officials in Japan announced the country reopened its borders to lamb and beef exports from the United Kingdom, which is estimated to be worth more than $146 million in the next five years. The ban was imposed in 1996, after bovine spongiform encephalopathy was discovered in UK cattle. The agreement, effective Jan.

Ohio’s prison farm closure more costly than first thought

New cattle barns and an unfinished milking facility, which were part of the Ohio prison farm system and brought to a close when Ohio Gov. John Kasich decided to sell the farms in 2016, were more costly than first realized.  The state-owned farms were operated by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, along with the Ohio Penal Industries, and used inmate labor to produce food for the prisoners. A report by the Ohio Inspector Generalshows that the new facilities cost the state a little more than $13 million, compared to roughly $8.6 million spent on the buildings.

Nobody is moving our cheese

While Americans consumed nearly 37 pounds per capita in 2017, it was not enough to reduce the country’s 1.4 billion-pound cheese surplus, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The glut, which at 900,000 cubic yards is the largest in U.S. history, means that there is enough cheese sitting in cold storage to wrap around the U.S. Capitol. The stockpile started to build several years ago, in large part because the pace of milk production began to exceed the rates of consumption, says Andrew Novakovic, professor of agricultural economics at Cornell University.

4 cows in Canada test positive for novel TB strain

The strain of bovine tuberculosis detected in a British Columbia cow has not previously been documented in Canada or the US, says Canada's Chief Veterinary Officer Jaspinder Komal. All of the cows in the herd were tested, and three others had the same strain of TB.

Farmland Access Bootcamp

Securing land to farm can be an enormous stumbling block for new farmers -- get a leg up on your search with this in-depth course. The Farmland Access Bootcamp will provide beginning farmers with a comprehensive overview of land access strategies, tools and resources and help them plan their next steps towards land tenure. The day-long session is designed for farmers with 10 or less years of experience, who are ready to begin or are actively searching for land or are working to change their current land situation.

Agriculture professionals seek ways to spot signs of suicidal thoughts in dairy farmers

Kohlman said asking people if they’re thinking about suicide, taking the time to listen, and showing they care are ways everyone can help producers in crisis. That’s anyone from veterinarians to bankers to the faith community. “The financial burdens are very real and the uncertainty with everything,” she said. “You might not be mental health professionals, but we all have a role to play in preventing suicide.”


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