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Durand cheesemaker named president of Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 7:12 AM CDT
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - A Durand cheesemaker has been named to lead Wisconsin cheesemakers. Steve Bechel of Eau Galle Cheese Factory at Durand was elected last week as president of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association board of directors. He will accept the organization’s gavel from outgoing association president Dave Buholzer of Klondike Cheese Company at Monroe. Bechel is a state master cheesemaker; he also served on the state’s Dairy Task Force 2.0. The association also last week announced the new Brian Eggebecht educational scholarship for students seeking education in the dairy industry’s skilled trades. Eggebrecht, a long-time cheesemaker and industry proponent, is at Welcome Dairy at Colby. The first recipients are Blake Hill from Ellsworth Creamery and Tarran Janz, who works at the Sartori cheese company.

The Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America has honored Dr. Barbara Lee of the Marshfield-based National Farm Medicine Center with a lifetime achievement award. Dr. Lee led development of the center’s National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, and has been its director since 1997. Under her leadership, the National Children’s Center has developed voluntary safety guidelines for children working on farms, and guidelines for non-working children on farms. The award was presented during the recent North American Agricultural Safety Summit.

Third District U.S. Rep. Ron Kind has introduced the bipartisan Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act. This legislation would be designed to help address Wisconsin’s veterinarian shortage by lifting some taxes on programs that encourage veterinarians to practice in rural communities. The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Adrian Smith, R-NE; Kurt Schrader, D-OR; and Dusty Johnson, R-SD . The U. S. Department of Agriculture has designated six underserved zones in Wisconsin, including a zone in Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District encompassing Eau Claire, Jackson, and Trempealeau counties. That zone has about 136,000 cows and 12 food-animal or mixed-animal veterinarians.

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