Dairy And Horseradish Farm Tours To Be Featured At 2020 Farm Technology Days
EAU CLAIRE, WI (March 11, 2020) - The Farm Demo Committee has finalized the Farm Tours and Demonstrations for 2020 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days (WFTD) in Eau Claire County, July 21-23. This year attendees will be able to tour two very different farms, Huntsinger Farms Horseradish Fields and Nellie Holsteins Dairy Farm. A guided drive by Ferguson’s Orchards will also be part of the dairy tour.
Attendees will be able to take each tour separately between 10am and 2pm all three days of WFTD. Each tour will leave the show’s Tent City on buses with tour guides who will provide a guided experience; each tour will last approximately 30 - 40 minutes and then return to Tent City.
“We are excited to have two farm tours at Farm Technology Days 2020 that show just a sliver of the diversity of agriculture in Northern Wisconsin,” said Kori Richter, co-chair of the Field Demo Committee.
Adding on, Margie Thornton, co-chair of the Field Demo Committee, said, “Nellies Holsteins will show other farmers and the general public all that is positive about family dairy farms, and Huntsinger Farms gives attendees a first-time opportunity to see everything that goes into growing the horseradish that we all have in our fridge. The drive by Ferguson’s Orchards will also provide a great look at what it takes to ensure apple orchards are ready for the future.”
Huntsinger Farms, the world’s largest grower and processor of horseradish, is the host farm for this year’s event, the first time a Horseradish farm has hosted Farm Technology Days in Wisconsin. Along with horseradish, Huntsinger grows soybeans, wild rice, corn, and forage crops in a five-crop rotation schedule, designed to maximize the quality and yield of the prized root crop.
Founded in 1929 when Ellis Huntsinger started growing horseradish to support his family on a few acres of land near a freshwater spring south of Eau Claire, Huntsinger Farms has been family owned and operated for over 90 years and four generations.
“We are excited to show everyone our family farm, how we have innovated over the years to build a sustainable operation, and help people understand more about the great horseradish root that has become increasingly popular over the years,” said Eric Rygg, president and CEO of Huntsinger Farms and its Silver Spring Foods subsidiary.
The Huntsinger Farm tour will feature the Huntsinger Harvester, its wash water retention pond system, a demonstration of harvesting, the storage process, and the farm’s newly installed solar power system that will generate about 18 percent of the farm’s power year-round.
In addition to the host farm tour, WFTD will feature a separate tour of Nellie Holsteins Dairy Farm.
Nellie Holsteins Dairy Farm
The Nelson family has been dairy farming in the town of Pleasant Valley in Eau Claire County since 1895. Now owned by the founder’s great grandson Doug Nelson, his son Derrick and Derrick’s wife Miranda Nelson, the Nelsons currently milk 200 cows in a double-eight parallel parlor and farms 300 acres of corn and alfalfa to feed their herd.
Visitors will get a close up look at Nellie Holsteins’ recent expansion from 56 to 200 cows and the innovations that allow the Nelsons to manage their operation without additional labor. The goal: to keep costs low and allow the farm to be sustainable into the sixth generation and beyond.
The new four-row free-stall barn that is big enough for drive-through feeding was finished two years ago, in February 2018. The state-of-the-art facility includes alley scrapers, a robotic feed pusher, and activity trackers on the cows, and other technology. The companies that supplied the technology and systems will all be exhibiting at WFTD in Tent City so that visitors can get hands-on experience with the different components that help make Nellie Holsteins run.
“We believe in dairy and are dedicated to reimagining our operation to ensure that my grandchildren and great grandchildren-to-come can live a good life running the family farm in the future,” said Doug Nelson, co-owner of Nellie Holsteins. “We hope that other farmers will enjoy getting a look at what we’ve done, and we look forward to meeting them here.”
Drive-By Ferguson’s Orchards
On the 10-minute bus ride to Nellie Holsteins, visitors will drive by Ferguson’s Orchards, one of the Midwest’s largest commercial apple growers. Tour guides will show riders the 250,000-tree orchard and share how the company uses high density apple growing techniques, trellis systems and state-of-the art irrigation to care for the 21 different varieties grown there. Ferguson’s is also an exhibitor in WFTD’s Innovation Square.
About Wisconsin Farm Technology Days
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days is a three-day outdoor event showcasing the latest developments in production agriculture, including practical applications and recent research and technological developments. This is the only farm show of its size in the United States that is organized and run entirely by volunteers. As the largest outdoor agricultural event in the state, it welcomes more than 45,000 attendees, with more than 600 commercial and educational vendors.
The first WFTD show was named Farm Progress Days and was held in Waupaca County in 1954. Eau Claire County hosted Farm Progress Days in 1992 and has been chosen as the host for the 67th annual event in 2020.
About Agriculture in Eau Claire County
Agriculture works hard for Eau Claire County every day. Family-owned farms, food processors and agriculture-related businesses generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of economic activity while contributing to local income and tax revenues. Eau Claire County, though dominated by the dairy industry, raises everything from meat goats to milking sheep to apples, grapes and vegetables. The county has seen farm numbers rise, while farm acreage has declined to an average farm size of 155 acres. Migration from the city to rural areas has resulted in smaller farms producing a variety of products. A diverse population has created opportunities to fill ethnic and specialty food niches. Meanwhile, county institutions and farmers have joined forces to produce fresh, healthy products to meet a growing demand for local food.
Community Food Drive to Be Hosted by WESTconsin Credit Union
WESTERN WI--WESTconsin Credit Union offices are collecting non-perishable food products and cash donations for families in need from March 9-21. Items can be dropped off at any WESTconsin location including Altoona, Amery, Baldwin, Barron, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Ellsworth, Hudson, Menomonie (North, Downtown and East), New Richmond, Prescott, River Falls and Spring Valley or on our website via PayPal. All proceeds will be delivered by the credit union to local food pantries for distribution.
Monetary donations are especially valuable because for every $1 in cash, food pantries can purchase up to $10 worth of food. Pantry use has remained steady even as unemployment rates have decreased. Eighty-seven percent of households receiving FoodShare have children, someone with a disability or an elderly person living there. Another thing to keep in mind, FoodShare benefits cannot be used for personal care items, such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, diapers, or even toilet paper. These items are also needed at local pantries.
WESTconsin Credit Union has been serving members since 1939, and membership is open to anyone who lives or works in the Wisconsin counties of Barron, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, Sawyer, Taylor, Trempealeau, and Washburn, or the Minnesota counties of Anoka, Chisago, Dakota, Goodhue, Isanti, Pine, Ramsey, Wabasha, and Washington, with a $5 minimum deposit in a Membership Savings Account. Credit unions are financial institutions owned by their accountholders, and member funds are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) up to at least $250,000.
REACH, INC. HOLDS FAREWELL OPEN HOUSE FOR RETIRING CEO
Stacy H. Wigfield the CEO of Reach, Inc. announced his retirement on January 2nd, 2020. His retirement will take effect on March 31, 2020. The Reach Board of Directors is in the process of accepting applications for his replacement until March 20, 2020 at 5pm. Information about the position can be found at: http://reach-inc.org/employment/3582430
On March 26th, 2020 there will be an open house to bid Mr. Wigfield farewell. The open house will run from 9:30am to 11:00am. The event will be held at Reach’s Adult Program site, 2205 Heimstead Road, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 54703. Cake and coffee will be served. This event is open to the public.
Both The Reach Board of Directors and The Reach Foundation Board of Directors, along with the staff and members of Reach would like to thank Stacy for his 33 years of service. We wish him best in his retirement.
Questions can be directed to Adrian Klenz, Executive Director of The Reach Foundation. Please use contact information at the top of this press release.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital to host event on Spirituality, Addiction and Mental Health
EAU CLAIRE – HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is hosting a special community presentation on Spirituality, Addiction and Mental Health Wednesday, April 8, at 6:30 p.m. as part of this year’s Monsignor Klimek Healing Presence lecture series. The free event will take place at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital (900 West Clairemont Ave.) in the Monsignor Klimek Auditorium.
Attendees will learn the powerful role spirituality and empathy can have for those struggling with addiction and/or mental health challenges. It’s open to people in recovery, people who find themselves in the midst of addiction and/or mental health challenges, and family members who walk this journey with them.
This event is made possible by the Monsignor Klimek Healing Presence Endowment. Established in 2007 with the guidance of Monsignor Klimek, long-time HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital priest chaplain, the endowment is a means to honor and perpetuate his unique ministry by recognizing the importance of spirituality in healing.
“Father Klimek’s desire was to foster, inspire and motivate spiritual care to the sick, and help each of us realize the special role we can play in ministering to those around us,” said Mary Salm, director of spiritual care and mission integration at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. “Each year, participants express gratitude for the unique message they receive from the lecture series.”
The event is free, but registration is required by calling 715-717-7300 or online at www.sacredhearteauclaire.org/Events-Classes. Refreshments will be provided.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital reaches advanced level of robotic surgery
EAU CLAIRE – The most sophisticated da Vinci™ surgical robot has made its debut at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital.
The Xi robot allows surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgery for even the most complicated scenarios. The four mechanical arms allow a surgeon to make very small and precise incisions from a control station near the operating table. The arms use instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand. Also, the 3D visualizations present very clear and very detailed images of the surgical site as the surgeon maneuvers.
For patients, this technology means a lower chance of needing an ‘open procedure’, minimal scarring and a faster recovery.
Ann Paffel in surgical services has been working with the da Vinci™ series since the first robot was introduced at Sacred Heart in 2006. She says since then more than 2,900 procedures have been performed; that’s more than 200 robotic surgeries each year.
“It has been amazing to see first-hand how technology advances,” said Paffel. “It’s a great experience to work with this cutting edge equipment while also using human hands to assist the robot every step of the way during surgery.”
The enhanced da Vinci™ Xi robot was delivered in October and the first surgery was successfully done in December of 2019, after nearly two months of enhanced training by colleagues in multiple departments. The da Vinci™ Xi robot is used for many types of surgeries. For more information, visit www.sacredhearteauclaire.org/Medical-Services/Robotic-Surgery/Robotic-Surgery-Options.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital holds free advance care planning workshop
EAU CLAIRE – Did you know Wisconsin is not a “Next of Kin” state? It is not automatic for family members to be allowed to make health care decisions if you are incapacitated. There’s also no guarantee that your loved ones will know what decisions to make on your behalf. That’s why planning for these situations and having documents detailing your wishes is so important.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital’s spiritual care department is holding a 90-minute workshop on Wednesday, April 8 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. to assist community members with advance care planning.
This workshop will give you tools to help move end-of-life conversations to actual planning by providing information, documents and an opportunity to complete health-related legal documents. You’ll also be able to ask questions and get valuable feedback to help you make decisions regarding your future.
Filing an advance care directive also enables you to determine how your end of life decisions are carried out; everything from resuscitation wishes to the type of music you want played during your end-of-life ceremony.
This workshop will be held on the first floor of the Professional Plaza Building, 2125 Heights Dr., Eau Claire.
The event is free, but registration is requested by calling 715-717-6028 or at www.sacredhearteauclaire.org/Events-Classes.
“The West Side” Moves To Fridays March 20
“The West Side,” Wisconsin Public Radio’s weekly hour-long call-in show focused on issues of western Wisconsin, is moving from 10 a.m. Mondays to 10 a.m. Fridays at on The Ideas Network stations 88.3 WHWC/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 878.7 WRFW/ River Falls, effective March 20, 2020.
Dean Kallenbach, host and producer of “The West Side,” said the move aligns “The West Side” with other weekly programs in The Ideas Network.
“Fridays are special on The Ideas Network,” Kallenbach said. “’The Morning Show’ has Wisconsin Weekend, ‘On Point’ has its Week in the News, Larry Meiller does ‘Garden Talk,’ we carry ‘Science Friday,’ and ‘Central Time’ has its Food Friday segment. Now, just in time for spring, ‘The West Side’ will be a part of that lineup.”
Kallenbach said the content of the show will be unchanged, still focused on civil conversations about the important issues western Wisconsinites care about. The topic of the first edition of “The West Side” to air on
Fridays will be the $48.8 million referendum on the April ballot in eleven west-central Wisconsin counties that would fund improvements at the campuses of Chippewa Valley Technical College. The president of the college, Bruce Barker, will be Kallenbach’s guest.
Musician Billy McLaughlin on “Spectrum West” March 12, 2020
Billy McLaughlin will be a guest on “Spectrum West,” which airs at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 12, 2020 on The Ideas Network stations 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls. Other guests on this week’s program include Nobuyoshi Yasuda of the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra, author and educator B.J. Hollars, and Le’Trice Donaldson from University of Wisconsin-Stout.
Musician Billy McLaughlin will be talking with Host Al Ross this week about his upcoming performance with the group SimpleGifts at the Mabel Tainter Center in Menomonie. The performance, which takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 14 called “The Young and the Rest,” is an acoustic tribute to the music of Neil Young and others of his era.
Nobuyoshi Yasuda, music director and conductor of the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra, joins the show to outline “Brahms in Spring,” its upcoming performance happening this Saturday, March 14 at the Pablo Center in Eau Claire. The Symphony will be welcoming guest pianist Kenny Broberg, performing Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2. Other featured pieces will be Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture and Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave.
B.J. Hollars returns to the show to provide a look at the 5th Writers’ Retreat, coming in June, a presentation of the Chippewa Valley Writers’ Guild. It’s the event’s second year at The Priory Conference & Retreat Center (1190 Prior Road, Eau Claire) and it will include appearances by, and tutoring from writers Nickolas Butler, Kimberly Blaeser, Tessa Fontaine and Peter Geye.
Special Correspondent Jim Oliver will share his conversation with Le’Trice Donaldson about her book “Beyond the Battlefield: African-American Soldiers Fight for Racial Uplift, Citizenship and Manhood, 1870-1920.” Donaldson is an Assistant Professor of Social Science at UW-Stout.
“Spectrum West” is a weekly program exploring the music, arts and humanities in western Wisconsin. The show includes in-depth behind-the-scenes interviews and stories about area writers, musicians, theater, visual arts and much more. The show is broadcast at 10 a.m. Thursdays on The Ideas Network stations 88.3 WHWC-FM Menomonie/Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM River Falls and via an online live stream on 88.7 WRFW-FM University of Wisconsin River Falls via wrfw887.com/listen-live.html. A repeat broadcast plays at 7 p.m. Fridays on 89.7 WUEC-FM Eau Claire and 90.7 WVSS-FM/ Menomonie. Archives of “Spectrum West” are available at wpr.org/programs/spectrum-west-al-ross.
NORTHWESTERN BANK TO CLOSE LOBBIES
EFFECTIVE MARCH 16
Chippewa Falls, WI— At Northwestern Bank, the health and well-being of our customers, employees, and communities are our top priorities.
Starting Monday, March 16, we will be closing all Northwestern Bank lobbies to the public. Drive-Throughs, Walk Up Windows, ATMs and Night Deposits will remain open at all of our locations.
This closure is anticipated to last through March 30th. Your local office and all of our Northwestern Bank employees will be available via phone and email and we will do our best to continue to assist customers with their business. Updates to the lobby status will be posted on our website at www.northwesternbank.com.
During this time, we encourage customers to use Northwestern Bank’s mobile and online banking resources for account access. Customers are able to view transactions, check balances, make payments find an ATM, and more.
A Northwestern Bank Pandemic Committee is in place and is monitoring the situation daily. We rely on the most up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), along with state and local authorities. As information is updated, the team and Bank are prepared to adjust its response plan. We understand the concern and uncertainty you may be experiencing surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are committed to being responsive to the needs of our customers and associates as the situation evolves.
For additional information about COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov.
Please refer any questions to Northwestern Bank President, Jerry Jacobson @ 715.723.4461
Northwestern Bank proudly serves the Chippewa Falls, Altoona/Eau Claire, Cornell, Thorp and Boyd communities. Committed to providing quality financial services and solutions, customers can expect to receive a high level of customer satisfaction under the motto, “Where People Matter.” For more information, visit Northwestern Bank’s Facebook page or www.northwesternbank.com. Member FDIC.
Attorney William Wallo Appointed as Small Business Bankruptcy Trustee
Eau Claire, WI - The Eau Claire law firm of Weld Riley S.C. is pleased to announce William Wallo, the firm’s Managing Partner, has been appointed by the U.S. Trustee Program to serve as a member of the pool of Small Business Trustees under the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019.
“I’ve been involved in commercial transactions and bankruptcy and insolvency matters for nearly thirty years. Small businesses have often been difficult to reorganize due to both legal hurdles and the sheer cost of the typical chapter 11. The new provisions should change that dynamic. I look forward to the opportunity to help facilitate successful reorganizations for struggling small businesses,” attorney Wallo said.
Wallo has been appointed to serve as member of the trustee pool for Region 11, which covers the following judicial districts: Western Wisconsin, Eastern Wisconsin, and Northern Illinois (Rockford division). Congress passed the Small Business Reorganization Act in August of 2019 with the provisions taking effect February 19, 2020.
The act was designed to streamline the bankruptcy process for debtors who have less than $2,725,625 in aggregate non-contingent secured and unsecured debts. It eliminates provisions that made small cases difficult to confirm and is intended to reduce costs. One new aspect of these provisions is that a “small business trustee” will be appointed in each case to “facilitate” the development and confirmation of consensual reorganization plans. The idea is that the trustee will hopefully help the debtor and creditors avoid needless fights (and legal costs).
Wallo practices as a member of the firm’s business and litigation sections. His practice areas include business transactions, commercial litigation, financial restructuring, creditors rights, insolvency, and bankruptcy.
Wallo graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor’s degree in English. He received his law degree with highest honors from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and spent 18 years as the law clerk for the Honorable Thomas S. Utschig, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Wisconsin before joining Weld Riley.
Weld Riley, S.C. has offices in Eau Claire, Wausau, Black River Falls, and Menomonie and serves both families, private sector businesses and public sector clients, including school districts, county governments, and many municipalities around western Wisconsin.
For more information on Weld Riley, log on to www.weldriley.com
For more information and to schedule an interview:
Press Contact: Chris Herzog
Public Invited to Experience Electric Vehicles
Event sponsored by area co-ops, CVTC
Eau Claire, WI – On Saturday, April 4, the public will have the opportunity to drive and learn about electric vehicles at a special event held at the Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Energy Education Center’s Energy Education Center at 3400 Campus Road, Eau Claire.
The free EV Experience event begins at 8 a.m. with registration, coffee and refreshments and a keynote speaker at 9 a.m. From 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. visitors will be able to ride, and drive EVs and several electric vehicles will be on display. It will be an opportunity for the public to learn what all the buzz is about regarding EVs and talk with current EV owners and people who work in the industry. Pre-registration is not necessary. A driver’s license is required for those who want to drive an EV.
The event is sponsored by Eau Clare Energy Cooperative and co-sponsored by CVTC, Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative, Barron Electric Cooperative, St. Croix Electric Cooperative and Dunn Energy Cooperative.
Electric vehicles have been a topic of conversation at Eau Claire Energy Cooperative for quite some time. “We’ve found ourselves asking questions like how quickly will consumers adapt to electric vehicles? And, how can our Cooperative be ready for EVs and be a go-to resource for our member-consumers?” said Monica Obrycki, chief administrative officer at ECEC.
“Automobiles, lawn and garden equipment and power sports are a few industry areas rapidly developing electric equipment,” said Adam Wehling dean of agriculture, energy and transportation at CVTC. “With homeowners and businesses using these items daily, the opportunity to grow this market sector is huge.”
With over 95 programs offered both online and on-campus, Chippewa Valley Technical College delivers superior, progressive technical education which improves the lives of students, meets the workforce needs of the region, and strengthens the community. CVTC programs are designed with input of business and industry to prepare graduates for today’s jobs, with 93 percent employed within six months of graduation and associate degree graduates earning an average annual salary of $44,000.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.