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Openings filled on Wisconsin Potato Industry Board

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 7:20 AM CDT
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - Three seats have been filled on the Wisconsin Potato Industry Board after state growers recently voted for the promotional board positions. The District 1 seat, which covers most of our listening area, will be held by Eric Schroeder of Antigo. District 2, which includes Marathon, Portage and other east-central counties, will be held by James Okray of Stevens Point. John Bobek of Markesan will represent the District 3 seat, which in our area covers Adams, Buffalo, Jackson, La Crosse, Trempealeau, Vernon and Wood counties. The nine-member Potato Industry Board deals with a $1.7 million annual budget, with funds collected through producer checkoffs.

Then national hog herd is down compared with a year ago, but up compared with March. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent quarterly hogs and pigs report said the nation’s 75.7 million hogs at the beginning of June was a 2 percent decrease compared with the start of June, 2020. However, it was a 1 percent increase compared with the beginning of the year. Iowa continues to have the nation’s largest hog herd with 24.2 million head, followed by Minnesota’s 9.3 million head and North Carolina’s 8.3 million head.

Seventy lawmakers joined Sen. Chuck Grassley,R-Iowa and Reps. Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn. and Dusty Johnson, R-S.D. in letters asking the administration to stop a recent court order National Pork Producers Council leaders say would harmj U.S. hog farmers. The letters call on Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Acting Solicitor General Prelogar to appeal a recent federal district court striking down pork harvest facility line speeds allowed under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s New Swine Inspection System. The NPPC leaders say the court order, set to go into effect tomorrow, will lead to pork industry concentration and increased market power for plant operators at the expense of small hog farmers. The council is calling for a longer stay of the court order and/or waivers that would allow the six affected plants to continue operating at NSIS line speeds until a long-term solution acceptable to all industry stakeholders can be established. Pork Council analysts say the court decision will result in a 2.5 percent loss in pork packing plant capacity nationwide, and more than $80 million in reduced income for small U.S. hog farmers,

Wisconsin has gone two years without a full in-person Alice in Dairyland finals event, but that will change in 2022. State Department of Agricultural, Trade and Consumer Protection officials announced that the 75th Alice in Dairyland finals program will be May 19-21, 2022, in Dane County, culminating with the naming of the next “Alice” at Monona Terrace in Madison. Alice in Dairyland is a paid DATCP position to promote Wisconsin agriculture products. Julia Nunes of Chippewa County this year became the first Alice in Dairyland to serve two years – as the 73rd and 74th Alice – because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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