Wisconsin FFA advisor dies after short illness
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Wisconsin rural and agricultural education lost a leader on Friday. Wisconsin state FFA advisor Jeff Hicken, 47 died at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison after a short illness. Hicken served as the state advisor in the state Department of Public Instruction since 2006, previously teaching agriculture education at Sauk Prairie High School. A former state FFA officer from the Lomira chapter, Hicken is a graduate of UW-River Falls. He was named Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year in 2003 and earned many other educational accolades – including serving as a National FFA Board director. A visitation for Hicken will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Waupun Junior-Senior High School; a memorial service will follow at 2 p.m., with additional visitation time 3-5 p.m. He’s survived by his wife Sheri, a former Alice in Dairyland, and two sons.
U.S. Department of Agriculture officials are reminding farmers to make appointments with their local Farm Services Agency offices and file their latest post-planting crop acreage reports. Timely reporting can prevent potential losses in benefits for any losses that might occur during the growing season.
U.S. agriculture secretary Tom Vilsak said he’s reconsidering the Trump Administration’s interpretation of the federal Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule. The Trump administration said the Organic Foods Production act doesn’t authorize the U.S. Department of Agriculture to regulate practices that were subject to the 2017 Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule. Vilsak said he’s directing the National Organic program to start rulemaking for the USDA to oversee the organic practices.
Former Green Bay Packers all-pro defensive back LeRoy Butler will be working with the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin promotions program on a project to show consumers how dairy farmers work to care for their animals and preserve farmland. Butler, author of seven cookbooks and a self-described cheese lover, has visited two farms as part of the project, and will be telling consumers about what he’s learning.
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