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Category: Extension

Talking turkey: UW Extension offers Thanksgiving tips

Channel 3000

“Having that meat thermometer is going to be really important for turkey, because it’s not going to cook as fast as chicken. And if you forgot to thaw it all the way and you pop it in the oven, there’s that possibility that some parts aren’t going to be done,” said UW Extension educator Heather Quackenboss.

Here’s how Milwaukee bakers prepare their favorite lebkuchen — a classic German gingerbread with many varieties

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Sugar does reduce water activity, and water is what lets microorganisms do their thing, said Barbara Ingham, professor of food science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a food safety specialist for UW’s Division of Extension. (“Just don’t eat raw dough,” she noted, since flour can be the subject of recalls for E. coli.)

Fall armyworm population wreaking havoc on Wisconsin crops


Noted: This year in Wisconsin, a fall armyworm population is present unlike anything most entomologists have ever seen. The pests are doing damage to alfalfa, winter wheat and other cover crops around the state. Bryan Jensen, UW-Extension Pest Management Specialist, shares that this warmer fall weather has helped to create a perfect storm for fall armyworms to thrive. Fall armyworms are different from the normal armyworms seen during late spring. The good news, according to Jensen, is they will most definitely not over-winter here in Wisconsin: they are a warm weather species, and will not survive the winter

Apartments are in short supply in Northeast Wisconsin. Here are some tips from housing experts that could help your search.

Appleton Post-Crescent

Noted: If you have a variable income, it’s best to base your budget on the lower end of how much you expect to be making so you can still over all your expenses in case your hours get cut or you get fewer tips than you were expecting, said MaryBeth Wohlrabe, a positive youth development educator who runs the Outagamie County Rent Smart program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension in the county.

‘Everybody pray for rain’: Southeastern Wisconsin crops and gardens could be damaged if drought and dryness continue

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: Joe Lauer, an agronomist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, acknowledged that farmers are anxious about the dry weather, but said that he’s not concerned … yet.

“One of the characteristics of a record-breaking year (for corn) is a mini-drought during the months of May and June,” he said. Lauer explained that a dry spring allows farmers to plant without fighting wet fields.

If you are worried about your garden or lawn, horticulture educator Vijai Pandian from the UW-Madison Extension has some tips to mitigate drought stress on landscape and garden plants.

Development agencies will use pandemic relief funds to study region’s economic potential

The Capital Times

The funds will also allow MadREP to update its comprehensive economic development strategy, called Advance Now 2.0, as well as the extensive accompanying reports on industry sectors. The 900 pages of reports, released in 2019 after years of research by MadREP and University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension, examined several key sectors for the region. Now, with new data released since, the agency would like to refresh those reports before acting on their findings. The agencies have not yet determined what contractors they will hire to conduct the studies.

Get some dirt under your nails

Hoard's Dairyman

Perhaps you are a person who works full time at another job but dreams of owning a small farm someday. Or maybe you already operate a farm but want to add another enterprise or start a side business. Whatever your aspirations may be, some of the first steps in making this goal a reality is to create a plan and secure funding.

That was the topic discussed in a University of Wisconsin Division of Extension webinar, titled “Your farm startup: where to begin and who can help?” One of the speakers was Andy Larson, the Farm Outreach Specialist for the Food Finance Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With personal experience as a banker, extension educator, and farmer, one of his first pieces of advice was to “get some dirt under your fingernails.”

“Try it first,” Larson said. “Only real-life, on the ground experience can tell you whether your passion stands up to the daily grind.”

UW-Extension to host new farm management AgriVision podcast series

Chippewa Herald

UW-Madison Division of Extension has a new farm management podcast series based on the Wisconsin Agriculturist magazine’s Agrivision column. Katie Wantoch, associate professor and agriculture agent in Dunn County, hosts the podcast episodes and chats with fellow Extension educators to answer questions from farmers and share their knowledge and expertise on how farmers can improve their farm management skills.

Here’s how a Waukesha Neighborhood Watch Program is going ‘modern’ with Ring doorbell cameras

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Because the association wants to equip as many homes as possible with the Ring devices, leaders had to seek out grant funding to buy the equipment. Salb said Steve Chmielewski, a community educator with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension Waukesha County, has helped facilitate that process, which involves Community Block Grant Funds.

Zoombombing an unwanted ‘education’ for Platteville

Telegraph Herald

Quoted: Whether a registration requirement complies with open-meetings statute has not been tested in the Wisconsin court system, said attorney Philip Freeburg, with UW-Madison Division of Extension’s Local Government Center.

“The main thing about open meetings is to provide open access,” he said. “If you’re putting up barriers to that, I think you may be at some risk.”

Digital divide: Health, education, prosperity depend on high-speed internet

Wisconsin State Journal

But the problem may be worse than we thought, according to a new UW Extension study, with implications for health, education and prosperity — problems that are further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has pushed nearly every aspect of daily life — from business to school and even health care — online. “People are choosing to live in places they can have access,” said Tessa Conroy, an assistant professor of applied economics and the lead author of the study. “More and more it’s connected to so many facets of life.”

State Report: Housing, Child Care Shortages Among Challenges For Rural Wisconsin Communities

Wisconsin Public Radio

Among other recommendations in the report, the commission also called for the creation of government programs designed specifically for rural communities; the easing of local levy limits to give local governments greater flexibility to fund innovative programs; and boosting state funding for the county-level education programs of the University of Wisconsin-Madison known as the Division of Extension

75 in Wisconsin died from farm activities in 2017-18, new report says

Wisconsin State Journal

Agriculture workers are up to eight times more likely to die on the job than workers in other industries, according to the National Farm Medicine Center in Marshfield. The center, along with the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, the UW-Madison Division of Extension and UW’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, restarted the annual reports to bring attention to farm fatalities and ways to prevent them.

It wasn’t just toilet paper. People stocked up on eggs during pandemic, sending wholesale prices skyrocketing

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “I think a lot of that first buying was people loading up and now I think that demand has decreased,” said Ronald Kean, a University of Wisconsin Extension poultry specialist. “Some of our large egg producers sell a lot of liquid eggs, but that has dropped off because that’s mostly used by restaurants and schools.”

Wisconsin farmers prep for potential wet, cold weather

Associated Press

Kevin Jarek is the agricultural agent for University of Wisconsin-Extension in Outagamie County. He said some farmers are worried about another late planting season this year because the National Weather Service has reported precipitation numbers that are above average.

Farmers welcome conservation support, wary of government regulations

Though Dodge and Sauk counties have farmer-led conservation groups, Columbia County currently does not. However, George Koepp, agriculture agent with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Columbia County, said that may soon change. In March he and county conservation officials plan to meet with a variety of local farmers, which includes Schoepp, to discuss creating a farmer-led organization.

Assembly To Vote On $10M Plan To Clean Up Wisconsin Water

Wisconsin Public Radio

One of the proposals from the task force would create a new Office of Water Policy within the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, a part of the University of Wisconsin-Extension. The office would be tasked with “coordinating efforts to manage, conserve, protect, and enhance the productivity of the state’s water resources,” according to the task force’s official report.

Who received the voter purge letter? State lawmakers, a cabinet secretary and a former UW chancellor

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Among the thousands of voters flagged to be possibly removed from Wisconsin’s voter rolls are two state lawmakers, a cabinet secretary, a Milwaukee County supervisor and a former University of Wisconsin chancellor.

Election officials in October asked more than 230,000 people to update their voter registrations because they believed they had moved. The letters triggered an ongoing legal battle over whether the recipients should be quickly taken off the rolls.

Among those who were targeted were Rep. Mark Born, R-Beaver Dam; Rep. David Crowley, D-Milwaukee; Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman; Milwaukee County Supervisor Sequanna Taylor and former UW Extension Chancellor Cathy Sandeen.

US dairy farmers look for any tech edge in fight to survive

Fox Business

“It can be very difficult for a smaller farm to afford this technology because you need, you know, a larger operation to spread those expenses across,” said Liz Binversie, an agriculture educator in Brown County for the University of Wisconsin extension office. She said she knows of one farm that went out of business because it couldn’t find enough workers and could not afford a robotic milking system.

Houseplants become more active as days get longer

Wisconsin State Journal

Pruning serves a variety of functions, including shaping, removing dead matter, and cutting back to reduce stem loads and keep the plants from sagging or drooping, said Diana Alfuth, a horticulturist with University of Wisconsin Extension.

Lawmakers Unveil $10M Plan To Clean Up Water In Wisconsin

Wisconsin Public Radio

One of the proposals from the task force would create a new Office of Water Policy within the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, a part of the University of Wisconsin-Extension. The office would be tasked with “coordinating efforts to manage, conserve, protect, and enhance the productivity of the state’s water resources,” according to the task force’s official report.

‘You have this burden that you carry’: For dairy farmers struggling to hold on, depression can take hold

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: This winter, Wisconsin farm couples can attend workshops in Mineral Point, Wausau, Appleton, Waupun, Eau Claire and Rice Lake, aimed at helping them manage stress associated with financial problems.

The workshops, sponsored by the state agriculture department and University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, will include a segment on how to talk with children about problems on the farm, and decision-making when the farm may have to shut down.

Study finds Madison area needs national partnerships to thrive

Wisconsin State Journal

As a companion to Advance Now 2.0 is a series of in-depth analyses conducted by MadREP and UW-Madison Extension over the past several years that explores each of the sectors determined to be the area’s main employment clusters: information and communication technology; bioscience; health care; agriculture, food and beverages; and advanced manufacturing.

Extension staffer commended for website work

The Kewaunee Comet

Erin Dahle, educational program support specialist in the Kewaunee County UW-Extension office, has been recognized for her work creating a Spanish version of Home Alone, an online class that helps prepare young people who are old enough to be left home without a caretaker.

To divert wasted food, the city looks into digesters, returns to composting

Capital Times

Several initiatives around wasted food in the Madison/Dane County area have seen recent progress. Last fall, a trio of University of Wisconsin-Madison undergrads and a communications coordinator at FairShare CSA Coalition created a food waste recovery guide on behalf of the city and county, now available as a spiral-bound print copy and online at UW-Extension. Magnets that say “Got food waste?” with a picture of an apple core include a short link to the guide.

Instructional teams challenge tradition by dividing teaching roles

Inside Higher Education

Unbundled faculty teams aren’t all the same. The University of Wisconsin Extension, an arm of the state system that partners with member campuses on traditional and competency-based online programs, takes a bifurcated approach, with academic success coaches providing wraparound services to students and instructors overseeing individual courses.