The Small Street Journal
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Over 52,000 Farmers, Families, and Neighbors Attend Farm Tech Days 2021 Eau Claire
EAU CLAIRE, WI – July 22, 2021 – Huntsinger Farms welcomed over 52,000 farmers, families, and neighbors to the 66th Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Eau Claire. The three-day show July 20 -22 shattered attendance projections.
“We built it and they came,” declared Mike Gintner, Chair of the Eau Claire County Executive Committee for the show. “We are still tallying all the numbers, but the early reports exceeded even our aggressive expectations. We are so grateful for the huge support from our attendees, exhibitors, volunteers, and sponsors – this show will have a big impact in Eau Claire County and the greater Chippewa Valley for years to come.”
Gintner added, “The Rygg family and all of the people of Huntsinger Farms and Silver Spring Foods went above and beyond to host the show. We are so appreciative of their generosity and support.”
- Initial estimates are that over 52,000 visitors attended over the three days of the show. Over 18,000 people attended the first day.
- 1,532 volunteers made the show possible, with people donating their time in every aspect of the show.
- The show featured 520 exhibitors from 26 states showcasing their latest products, implements, tractors and technologies
- The Youth and Career Discovery Zone led by Chippewa Valley Technical College, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and 4H, was a huge success for kids of all ages – more than 10,000 youth and families walked the chip trail through the exhibits learning about the different areas of agriculture, ending their educational journey writing a postc ard thanking Chippewa Valley farmers. Each youth that completed an activity tracker earned a free scoop of custard from Culver’s.
- 16 buses shuttled at least 3,837 people for entertaining and educational tour of Huntsinger Farms Horseradish Farm, Nellie’s Holsteins Dairy Farm, and Ferguson’s Orchards.
- At the Opening Ceremony Governor Tony Evers presented Mike Gintner with his official state proclamation commending the show to the people of Wisconsin. Secretary Designee of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Randy Romanski spoke to the big crowd gathered. State Senator Jeff Smith presented the Rygg family with a State Senate Citation of Service for hosting the show, and Bob Bosold presented Huntsinger Farms and Silver Spring Foods with the 2021 Breakfast in the Valley Friend of Agriculture Award. Julia Nunes, Alice in Dairyland 2020-22 led attendees in the pledge of allegiance.
Special Olympics Wisconsin and fans return to Carson Park for 40th Annual Buckshot Run
Eau Claire, Wis. – After going virtual in 2020 due to COVID-19, Special Olympics Wisconsin and Presenting Partner WIN Technology are thrilled to announce the return of the in-person Buckshot Run in 2021.
This year, Eau Claire’s oldest running event will include a 2-mile race on Tuesday, August 27 and 2- and 5-mile options on Saturday, September 4 in Carson Park. Saturday’s event also includes a kid’s dash that is free to children 5 and under. Both Buckshot Run days will have concessions, music and an awards ceremony following the race.
WIN, the Presenting Partner of the 40th Annual Buckshot Run, has served the Upper Midwest with cutting-edge technology solutions and services since 1997. As one of the region’s largest fiber network providers, they provide 15,000 miles of fiber throughout the region.
“WIN Technology is excited to partner with Special Olympics Wisconsin for the 2021 Buckshot Run and we are thrilled that it will be happening in-person this year. It has been fun to again be involved as Presenting Partner and we look forward to seeing what’s in store for the event this year,” WIN CEO Scott Hoffmann said.
Since 1982, the community of Eau Claire has supported and participated in the Buckshot Run for Special Olympics. In addition to being Eau Claire’s oldest run, the Buckshot Run is also considered one of Wisconsin’s can’t-miss running events. It annually draws thousands of people to downtown Eau Claire to participate in one, or several, of the runs offered.
For more information on the WIN Buckshot Run or to register for one of the races, visit https://www.specialolympicswisconsin.org/buckshot-run/.
Merchants Financial Group, Inc. Announces Earnings of $18.16 Million through Second Quarter of 2021
WINONA, Minn. – Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI) announced net income of $18,157,527 through the first two quarters of 2021, according to MFGI President & CEO Gregory M. Evans.
Performance was driven by the Bank’s active involvement in the origination of Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for small businesses throughout the region and continued strong origination volume of residential mortgage loans.
“Our strong earnings reflect our commitment to continue showing up in our communities as a trusted advisor and resource. As community bankers, it’s our privilege to serve our communities and do our part to help local economies and neighbors recover from the pandemic,” said Evans.
Net income is $9.7 million ahead of mid-year earnings performance for 2020 when the early onset of COVID dramatically impacted MFGI’s performance results. All four Bank regions, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance and the Secondary Market Mortgage division have exceeded earnings plans for the first six months.
Merchants has originated an additional $80 million of PPP loans during a recent round of SBA funding and approximately 65% of Merchants’ total PPP origination volume of $290 million has been forgiven, providing area small business owners a much needed resource to survive the pandemic. Merchants’ residential mortgage loan volume for the first half of the year has been $484 million, and mid-year performance was also bolstered by reversal of excess Allowance for Loan/Lease Loss Reserves.
“We continue to focus on walking our business customers through the forgiveness process for PPP loans, and those proceeds have been a significant lifeline for owners of family-owned businesses that are the backbone of our communities’ economic viability,” noted Evans. “Our market leadership in mortgage lending has afforded many families to take advantage of low interest rates by purchasing a new home or refinancing their current mortgage.”
Merchants Financial Group, Inc. is a publicly-traded Company. Ownership is made up of its more than 440 employees and mostly individuals and families from the communities the Bank serves.
Merchants Bank is a full-service community bank with 23 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.5 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875. Member FDIC.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Chief Financial Officer
Royal Credit Union Eau Claire Downtown Groundbreaking
When: Friday, August 6, 2021; 11 a.m.
Where: 317 N. Barstow, Eau Claire WI, 54703
What: Royal Credit Union (Royal) will break ground for its new Eau Claire Downtown office. The Barstow Street property is located in the heart of downtown Eau Claire and provides Royal with the opportunity to add to the vibrant landscape of the community. Royal built its corporate center in downtown Eau Claire in 2005 and is deeply invested in the area’s continued growth. Media coverage is welcome. A news release with photos will be sent following the event.
About Royal Credit Union
Royal Credit Union is a federally insured credit union proudly serving over 230,000 Members in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Royal is driven by a core ideology built on a strong purpose and values. You can open an account or apply for a low-rate loan at Royal Credit Union if you live or work in 26 counties in western Wisconsin or 16 counties in Minnesota. Counties served in Wisconsin include Adams, Ashland, Bayfield, Barron, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Lincoln, Marathon, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Portage, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor, Trempealeau, Washburn, and Wood. Counties served in Minnesota include Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Goodhue, Hennepin, Isanti, Olmsted, Pine, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Wabasha, Washington, Winona and Wright. Realtors in the state of Wisconsin or Minnesota are also eligible to join the credit union. Visit rcu.org or call Royal Credit Union at 800-341-9911 for more information.
Health Department and Healthcare Prioritizing Vaccinations for 12-14 year olds
COVID-19 case numbers are rising the in Chippewa Valley and the Health Department, along with area healthcare partners, are asking students and young adults to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment today. Anyone vaccinated this week with Pfizer (a 2-dose series) can be fully vaccinated by the first week of September. A limited supply of Johnson & Johnson is still available in our area for those 18 years and older, and those individuals will be fully vaccinated just 2 weeks after their single shot.
The 12- to 24-year-old age group is lagging all other age groups in vaccinations, with the lowest number of vaccinated people in the 12- to 15-year-old group (35%). There have been more cases in the under 25 age group than any other age group.
All the area major healthcare systems agree on the importance of vaccinating anyone who is eligible, especially those who are planning to attend in-person learning this fall. HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Mayo Clinic Health System, OakLeaf Surgical Hospital, and Prevea Health jointly provided the following statement:
“We strongly encourage anyone who is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. The 12–24- year-old age group has the lowest number of people vaccinated in Eau Claire County. As this group prepares for getting back to school, it’s also important to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is safe and is our best protection against this virus, especially with circulation of the new variants, such as the Delta variant. We understand you may have questions, and that is normal. Please contact your family doctor with any concerns you have.”
CVTC, OSHA solidify partnership to train employers, workers on workplace safety
Businesses and their employees will continue to reap the benefits of a 15-year relationship between Chippewa Valley Technical College and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration after the two organizations signed an ambassadorship agreement Thursday at CVTC.
“The ambassador alliance allows us to have a free channel of communication – staying abreast of regulatory changes,” said Rich Stangl Jr., program director and instructor of the Industrial Safety training program at CVTC. “We can communicate and collaborate. The benefit of open networking is a huge benefit for us, and we’re a resource for OSHA as well.”
OSHA and CVTC signed its first alliance in 2006 to focus on promoting worker safety and health within the general industry, construction and agricultural industries, including small businesses. The two organizations have benefitted by developing and sharing information on recognizing and preventing falls, struck-by, caught-in-between and electrical workplace hazards.
“Through our collaboration, Chippewa Valley Technical College has trained thousands of employers and workers on preventable workplace injuries,” said OSHA Area Director Mitzy Wright in Eau Claire. “Adding the college to our ambassador alliance program allows us to continue working together to enhance their education and training efforts to improve worker safety throughout Chippewa Valley.”
In addition, CVTC and OSHA will continue promoting awareness of OSHA’s rulemakings, enforcement initiatives, and safety campaigns, including an understanding of workers’ rights and employer responsibilities.
Western University of Wisconsin Universities and the Wisconsin State Budget on Wisconsin Public Radio's "The West Side"
An update on western Wisconsin’s three state universities — including welcoming UW-River Falls’ new chancellor, Maria Gallo and COVID-19 vaccination incentives for students — is the topic of “The West Side” at 10 a.m. Friday, July 30 on The Ideas Network stations of Wisconsin Public Radio: 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls.
UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt and UW-Stout Dean of Students Sandra Scott join Gallo and host Clara Neupert for a conversation to include changes in campus COVID-19 safety protocols for the fall semester, enrollment rates and planned projects, like the event and sports center slated for UW-Eau Claire.
“The West Side” is broadcast each Friday at 10 a.m. on The Ideas Network stations 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls and live streamed at wrfw887.com/listen-live.html. Archives of “The West Side” are available at wpr.org/programs/west-side.
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