We teach, learn, lead and serve, connecting people with the University of Wisconsin, and engaging with them in transforming lives and communities.

A fresh look at steam canning

It’s jam and jelly season! Let’s review the use of an atmospheric steam canner for canning acid foods. The University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted research showing that an atmospheric Steam Canner may be used to safely can naturally acid foods such as peaches, pears, and apples, or acidified-foods such as salsa or pickles. The atmospheric steam canner uses only […]

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Induction-ready pressure canners: are they safe to use?

Several manufacturers are now selling pressure canners and other appliances that are compatible with induction heating elements. Are these style of canners safe to use for home canning? Yes! Induction compatible canners function the same way as regular pressure canners in preserving food. An induction-ready canner is different because of the type of material that the canner is made of. […]

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At the end of canning, why wait 5-10 minutes?

Many current home canning recommendations suggest a 5 to 10 minute wait at the end of the canning process prior to removing jars from the canner. Why is this wait time now included in some canning recipes and it is necessary for safety? Some home canning recipes, such as the Ball (Fresh Preserving) recipe for Classic Strawberry Jam, include as a final […]

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Scouting Pests Important Task for Farms & Gardens

The heat is on.  The projected temperatures in the next couple weeks are going to push plant growth in both fields and gardens & landscapes.  They are also going to push insect development and possibly open up opportunities for diseases to get into plants and cause damage.  Proper pest management on the farm or in gardens starts with […]

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Recalled Salads

With another 84 patients confirmed and an eighth state involved, an outbreak of Cyclospora infections linked to Fresh Express bagged salads sold by grocery stores is now being blamed for sickening restaurant patrons.Officials are reporting over 200 patients have been confirmed as infected by the Cyclospora parasite in the outbreak. The microscopic organism is often found on fresh produce that is eaten […]

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Summer Food Safety

Food Safety News You can Use from the Division of Extension. Summer weather can bring heavy rains and power outages due to lightening and high winds. Extension has information that you can use to keep yourself and your family food-safe. Emergency Preparedness (USDA; many resources in Spanish) Keep Food Safe after a Disaster or Emergency (CDC, also in […]

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Badger Crop Connect

Badger Crop Connect July 1, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Register by 5:00 PM on June 30: https://go.wisc.edu/3n0680  Badger Crop Connect is a new crop production webinar series developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension Crops and Soils Program for the 2020 growing season. Badger Crop Connect’s goal is to bring agronomists, crops consultants and farmers timely […]

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Little Free Libraries: not food-safe pantries

Even though a national trend has some families converting their Little Free Libraries into food pantries, this may not be food-safe idea.  Little Free Libraries have a strong tie to Wisconsin. According to the Little Free Library website, in 2009, Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse. It was a tribute […]

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Unsafe canning practice: ‘dry canning’ vegetables

A second method of ‘dry canning’ has surfaced, even more unsafe than the first.  One unsafe method of dry canning is oven ‘canning’ of dry goods such as dry beans, nuts or flour. This method of ‘preserving’ dry foods really isn’t canning and it isn’t considered safe.  A second method of ‘dry canning’ involves placing raw vegetables such as corn, green […]

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Horticulture Pests Focus of Local Webinar Series

As summer begins, most gardeners focus their attention on the various insects, diseases, weeds, and other pests that affect their plants’ health, vigor, and productivity.  The Marinette office of UW-Madison, Division of Extension is providing all area home gardeners a series of opportunities to learn more about the pests which they may find on the various […]

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Free Pollinator Presentation

June is pollinator month! Learn about Pollinators : ONLINE. Free. In this presentation you’ll learn about the importance of pollinators. First we’ll learn about Wisconsin bee species and their important ecological role, then we’ll learn about strategies on how to protect them, and then we’ll wrap up with a discussion on selecting trees that bees […]

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Badger Crop Connect Special Edition: Coffee, Corn, and Fungicides

Special Edition: Coffee, Corn, and Fungicides Badger Crop Connect June 24, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Register by 12:00 PM on June 23: https://go.wisc.edu/n91761 In the interest of bringing you timely crop updates, Badger Crop Connect is hosting a Special Edition morning webinar session on applications of fungicides for corn grain and silage. Bring a cup of coffee and join […]

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National recall of ground beef: consumers urged to check freezers and refrigerators

Lakeside Refrigerated Services, a Swedesboro, N.J. establishment, is recalling approximately 42,922 pounds of ground beef products, some labeled as ‘organic’ that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced. The raw ground beef items were produced on June 1, 2020 and include the following products: 1-lb. vacuum packages […]

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Week Eight of The Fair Hunt

There are three simple steps:  Find and identify the animal shown in the picture below.  Let the Oconto County 4-H staff know either on Facebook or via e-mail (amy.brehmer@co.oconto.wi.us) what you found, along with your name and age so that you can be entered into the drawing. Share a photo of the same type of […]

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2020 OCONTO COUNTY YOUTH FAIR CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19

2020 OCONTO COUNTY YOUTH FAIR CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 June 11, 2020 Dear Fair Family and Friends: The Oconto County Youth Fair Board has been monitoring the Covid-19 situation since March. Through this time, the Board continued to stay positive and prepare for the 79th annual 2020 Oconto County Youth Fair. It is with great […]

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Rose Chafers Coming to a Plant Near You!

The annual late-spring invasion of mid-sized, metallic tan beetles with orange legs has begun in our area.  Seemingly overnight, they will appear and begin heavy feeding on roses, raspberries, grapes, apple trees, and many other trees and shrubs.  The beetle that pulls this magic appearing act is the rose chafer, a native species that does […]

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Celebrate June Dairy Month by Learning About Area Agriculture

June is Dairy Month.  This is a well-known fact to residents of the Dairy State.  However, what else do you know about Wisconsin agriculture?  Specifically, what do you know about the scope and impact of agriculture in our counties?    In a normal June, you could experience farm life and learn about agriculture by attending a […]

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Caring for Spring Bulb Plants

As spring transitions to summer, many of our stalwart early blooming spring bulbs become afterthoughts in the flower beds and landscapes.  However, their year is not quite yet complete, at least for most of the larger or later-blooming bulb plants, such as most tulips and many daffodils.  If you want those bulbs to bloom well […]

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Say ‘NO’ to dry canning

Instructions have been circulating for ‘dry canning’ of products such as dry beans, flour, and pasta. Just because this process uses traditional canning jars, it isn’t ‘canning’ and, according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, this method of food preservation may not be safe. What is canning? Canning as a method of food preservation or processing refers […]

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Announcing NEW Book Read – Money As You Grow

The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension announces the launch of a new micro-learning video series: Money As You Grow Book Reads.  Each week, Financial Security Team Educators will read a popular children’s book that teaches children about money.  You can find free guides online through Dollars During Development.  Get the conversation started with your child while doing a fun activity in the […]

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Alfalfa Ready for Harvest to Achieve Dairy Quality Forages

Alfalfa ready for harvest to achieve dairy quality forages The full series of Alfalfa Quality Monitoring project fields were walked Monday afternoon, June 1st by Agriculture Agent, Scott Reuss.  Results show that the weekend’s cooler temperatures slowed alfalfa growth down a bit, but maturity is still progressing and it is ready to harvest for any […]

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First Crop Alfalfa Harvest Monitoring Project Update

Alfalfa moving toward being harvest ready The recent warmth and sun have pushed alfalfa growth on most soil types, but excess moisture is still inhibiting growth and maturity in a few regions of the county. The 9 fields in Marinette County when I walked them Monday afternoon were as follows: location            max […]

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Check Your Free Credit Report Campaign

Did you know? By law, you can request three FREE credit reports each year. Mark your calendar to request a copy of your free report on 6/6. Our “Check Your Free Credit Report: 2/2, 6/6, 10/10” campaign makes it easier to remember to order your reports. Learn more on the website. https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/creditreport/

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Alfalfa growing, but not ready for harvest

  Alfalfa growing, but not ready for harvest The full series of Alfalfa Quality Monitoring project fields were walked Wednesday afternoon, May 20th.  Results show that alfalfa has grown now that we’ve started to see some warmth, but that we still have a ways to go to be ready to harvest.  Some dairy farms which […]

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“We’re All In” Initiative Offers Grants, Guidelines

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 18, 2020 Contact: GovPress@wisconsin.gov or 608-219-7443   Gov. Evers Announces $75 Million We’re All In Grant Program and Initiative to Spur Wisconsin’s Economic Recovery, Promote Safe Business Practices   MADISON—Gov. Tony Evers today announced $75 million in assistance for small businesses as part of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s We’re All In initiative, a comprehensive effort […]

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Guide to Home Grown Produce

This Guide is a collection of farmers, growers and markets in Marinette, Florence and Oconto Counties that sell produce directly to consumers. Growers’ contact information, produce offered, and a map of the location are included with details given on local farmers’ markets. Guide to Home Grown Produce 

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Alfalfa Growth and Overwintering Status as of May 14

Submitted by:  Scott Reuss, Agriculture Agent. The first set of data was collected for the alfalfa forage quality monitoring project on Thursday, May 14.  Alfalfa maturity is way behind normal, but this data collection allowed for a review of consistency of growth across the county, as well as a more formal survey of overwinter survival.  […]

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Perennial Plants and Excess Water Local Webinar Opportunity

It’s finally spring and our landscape plants are getting growing.  However, after two very wet growing seasons, many perennial plants in the region are facing various types of stress related to high water tables or excess humidity and rainfall.  The Marinette County Consolidated Library System and UW-Madison, Division of Extension are collaborating to bring area […]

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Tent Caterpillars Starting to Munch on Tree Leaves

One of our most common native tree leaf eating caterpillars has begun to emerge and munch their way through certain trees’ canopies. The Eastern Tent Caterpillar is an early-season insect whose egg masses overwinter on tree branches of preferred species. That way, when they emerge in early to mid-May, the tiny caterpillars don’t have to […]

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Free Webinars for Small Businesses

The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce on small business needs. Weekly on Tuesdays at 11:00am. Register here>> Wisconsin’s Small Business Administration Office is holding daily informational webinars at 2:00pm. Register here>>

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Lawn Weed Control: Timing is Critical

The thermometer has had some ups and downs recently, but spring is definitely here and plants are getting growing for the 2020 growing season.  Many homeowners have started their lawn management tasks for the year, whereas others have not yet had to do so due to different soil types and localized weather conditions.  One part […]

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Planting Grain Crops an Economic Risk in 2020

Farming is always a risky business, as one weather event can change a farm’s outlook from rosy to very poor overnight. This year was going to be another tight economic one for raising grain crops, but it is now a really poor situation. There is the chance for market price to recover, but if we […]

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Building Raised Beds for Vegetable Production

Vegetable gardens do not need to be large, open, flat spaces.  In fact, most families find that managing a vegetable garden is a lot easier if they have smaller gardens, with raised beds being a very good option.  Raised beds offer certain advantages over in-ground gardens, particularly in regards to pest management and early season […]

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‘Milk Dumping’ Being Faced by Farms

Farmers are in business to produce food for others.  It’s what they do.  It’s what they care about.  Right now, some area dairy farms are being told to go against their very nature and ‘dump’ the high quality food product they’ve invested their life into producing.  As our entire world faces very unusual circumstances, many […]

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Vegetable Selection for Home Gardens

Our area’s Easter snowstorm may have tempered gardeners’ enthusiasm a bit, but it is definitely time to finish selecting what vegetables you are going to grow this year.  On-line or catalog orders are a constantly available opportunity, and vegetable and fruit plant & seed sales are considered ‘essential’ under the current Safer at Home order […]

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Direct Sales Farm Listing Being Updated

Farms which sell food items directly to consumers have the opportunity to get their information into the Guide to Home-Grown Produce in Marinette & Oconto Counties. This free listing is available on-line for all area residents to then be able to purchase fruits, vegetables, meat products, and specialty items such as honey, maple syrup, and preserved […]

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COVID-19 Response Grant Program

For information on the COVID-19 Response Grant Program please click on the link below, this information is provided by the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. https://www.med.wisc.edu/wisconsin-partnership-program/covid-19-response-grant-program/  

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Starting Vegetable Seeds At Home

The growing season is close, but there is still time to start your own vegetable seeds at home.  Starting seeds can be a simple biology lesson for your kids and grandkids, as they watch plants grow and develop.  And it can be a very fruitful lesson, as those young seedlings develop into productive plants that […]

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Gov. Evers Suspends Evictions and Foreclosures During Public Health Emergency

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today directed Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to temporarily order the suspension of evictions and foreclosures amid the COVID-19 public health emergency. The order can be found here. The order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for any reason unless failure to proceed with the eviction will result […]

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Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Cleaning & Disinfecting

We all know that hand washing is an important defense against coronavirus. And as we work to keep ourselves and our families healthy, routine cleaning and disinfecting of areas in our homes is important. Cleaning removes dirt from surfaces, while disinfecting kills germs that remain after cleaning. What is the best way to clean and […]

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Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Dates on food products

With a ‘Safer at Home‘ order, many of us are looking to foods stocked in our pantries and cupboards to help feed our families. What do dates on food products tell us? If the date is past, is the food still safe?  In most cases, yes! Dates on food package labels are generally quality dates, an indication […]

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Navigating Coronavirus for Small Businesses

This page provides business owners with links to information so they may prepare for the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wisconsin and plan accordingly impacts to their business operations. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers up to date information about the spread of the virus, and healthy habits to reduce the risk […]

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COVID-19 Financial Resources

COVID-19 Financial Resources If you are experiencing financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, look over the links to government websites below to see what assistance might be available. We will be adding additional information as new policies and resources are put into place. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?  – The Wisconsin Department of Workforce […]

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Oconto County Board Recognizes Finger Family

On Thursday, February 20, 2020, the Oconto County Board of Supervisors recognized the Finger Family for receiving the Wisconsin’s Outstanding Young Farmer Award. Philip and Laura Finger are the fifth generation to farm on his family farm, which was established in 1872. Pictured back row left to right : Dick Doeren; Extension Education Committee Member, […]

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Microwave Food Safety

Microwaves play an increasingly important role in getting meals on the table, but special care must be taken so that microwaved food is safe to eat. Let’s look at some tips for cooking safely in a microwave oven. Is it safe to eat microwaved food?  Yes! Microwaves are very short (micro) radio waves that can […]

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Reduce Food Waste: A Resource of Food Banks and Food Pantries

Many individuals make New Year’s resolutions and these days some companies are even getting into the game.  Several prominent companies including Marriott, the hotel and hospitality company, Nestle Global, the international food and beverage company, and several branches of the U.S. government have pledged to reduce food waste in 2020.  I have been working with […]

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Wash your hands, not your chicken.

This new year, let’s resolve to wash our hands, and not raw poultry! Rinsing chicken or turkey before cooking it is an ingrained step for many home cooks, passed down through generations and reinforced by some older cookbooks. Recipes like the “Perfect Roast Chicken” in “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook” from 1999 advise cooks to “Rinse […]

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Tips for Cooking Safely in a Slow Cooker

Crock Pot slow cooker. During the winter, menu planning often turns more to soups and stews than at other times of the year.  When that happens, a slow cooker is the perfect appliance for preparing a nutritious meal that is ready when you walk through the door at the end of the day. A slow […]

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4-H Member Re-Enrollment Now Open!

As of September 6th, members may go to www.4honline.com and re-enroll in the  4-H program for 2019-2020. All 4-H members, youth and adult, must re-enroll on 4-H Online each year in order to participate in 4-H club, county, state, national and international activities. Even if you just became a member in August, you must go […]

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