ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- Trade issues continue to be the focus of most agricultural organizations, including the dairy industry. And yesterday the industry got together to let President Trump know how important trade partnerships are for agriculture. Dairy leaders called on everyone and anyone who has a stake in the dairy industry to call the White House and let them know that when it comes to trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement, the administration should "mend it, not end it." That call-in effort happened yesterday afternoon.
Also this week the National Pork Producers' Council announced it was supporting free trade by supporting "Farmers for Free Trade." The group is a bipartisan effort led by former U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Richard Lugar. They plan to unite various agriculture groups to get the message out that rural America benefits from trade with other countries.
Meanwhile Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has been in China this week talking trade. Following talks with Chinese leaders, Trudeau said he was looking forward to continuing trade talks with the Chinese and eventually signing a comprehensive trade deal with them. But Canadian officials said no timetable was set as to when such trade talks might begin.
Wisconsin knows how to make cheese-and lots of it. The October production figures show Wisconsin cheese plants churned out 287 and a half million pounds-up almost 3% from a year ago and up almost 6% from this past September. That's 38 months in a row that we've produced more cheese than in the same month of the previous year. Production was up last month for all the major varieties.
Two young ladies in Wisconsin are buzzing with joy. Hannah Sjostrom of Maiden Rock was recently crowned the 2018 Wisconsin Honey Queen. Hannah is a sophomore at UW Eau Claire studying nursing. But, she won't be buzzing around the state alone as Lexi Gagare was crowned the 2018 Honey Princess. Lexi is a senior at UW Lacrosse majoring in therapeutic recreation. They will be making appearances throughout 2018 at fairs, festivals and farmers markets promoting the beekeeping industry. And, Hannah will also represent Wisconsin at the American Honey Queen competition in January of 2019 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
And yesterday in Chippewa Falls, the Kiwanis Club presented their annual agricultural awards. They presented their annual Agribusiness Friend of the year award to retired Bloomer agriculture and FFA Advisor Merle Richter for all his community work around Bloomer and Chippewa County. The Kiwanis also presented their 32nd annual Agricultural Friend Award to Harley and Barb Thompson, longtime farmers in the Cornell area. The Thompsons were recognized for their long time farming careers but also for their involvement in their church and their community as volunteers that never say no.