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2020 Farm Tax Implications and Having Tough Conversations Webinar

2020 Tough Talk: Difficult Conversations, COVID-19, and Taxes Thursday, December 10, 2020 | 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm  Register by 5:00 pm, Dec 09 at https://go.wisc.edu/2rcpis This year has brought many challenges and surprises to farmers and agriculture professionals across Wisconsin.  Join us as we wrap up the year with “2020 Tough Talk: Difficult Conversations, COVID-19, and […]

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Dairy Margin Coverage Decision-Making Webinar Dec. 3

The Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program is an important risk management tool which dairy producers have access to from the USDA-Farm Service Agency.  This voluntary insurance product allows producers to protect against low margins, specifically the difference between the announced All Milk price and the calculated feed costs to produce milk. UW-Madison, Division of Extension, is […]

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Pricing High Moisture Corn for Farm to Farm Sales

Corn harvest season is getting started, with local farms starting to harvest high moisture corn.  High moisture corn (HMC) is the grain after being normally combined, but there is enough moisture in it that it ensiles well, preserving feed quality for livestock.  Harvesting HMC is also more efficient and more environmentally friendly, as farms do […]

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Fall Insect Invaders

Home-owners around the area are starting to experience the annual fall insect hibernation invasions.  The insects most likely to be staging on outside walls and beginning to move into houses, garages, or wall spaces are boxelder bugs, cluster flies, conifer seed bugs, and Multi-colored Asian Lady Beetles.  You may also find wasp species, other insects, and even […]

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Experts Affirm: Coronavirus ‘highly unlikely’ food risk

An international group of scientists has declared that it is highly unlikely that SARS-CoV-2 is a food safety risk. The International Commission for Microbiological Specifications of Foods (ICMSF) is a non-governmental organization and represents top food safety experts from around the globe. The ICMSF members believe it is highly unlikely that ingestion of SARS-CoV-2 will result in […]

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Frost Protection Options

Weather forecasts indicate that gardeners in our area will want to consider frost protection opportunities tonight and tomorrow night, Sept. 17 and 18.  Forecast lows for most of the Marinette County area are projected to reach the freezing mark, indicating that most gardens are at risk for damage. Plants facing the most risk are the […]

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Safe Preserving Tips in the time of COVID-19

Whether you are new to canning, returning to canning because of the pandemic, or have always canned the bounty of your harvest, there are certain tips that will help ensure that your time and efforts lead to safe, healthy food for your family.  Use recipes that are up to date. Some canning recommendations have changed dramatically […]

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Fall Activities to Manage Plant Diseases

2020 was a relatively strong plant disease year, again.  High, consistent humidity levels in July and fairly consistent rainfall events in June, July, and early August led to many fungal diseases having banner years.  As the end of the garden season approaches, we can actually do some things in fall to make a big difference in the […]

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Early Fall Means Local Foods Readily Available

Vegetable harvest is still in high gear, tree fruits are maturing, and livestock based products are also coming into season.  Fall means food, and there are many farms in our area which focus on producing food products and selling directly to consumers.  Whether you want to find a perfect head of cauliflower, a peck of apples for […]

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Update: The jar sealed, is the food safe? and other questions

Cells and spores of C. botulinum. Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control. Tested recipes recommend glass Mason-style jars and 2-piece self-sealing lids for home canning. In the past few weeks, one of the most frequently asked questions has been about jar sealing. Handling jars and lids correctly will go a long way towards successfully preserving your garden’s […]

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An update on safe use of steam canners

Back to Basics steam canner 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 steam canner uses only ~2 quarts of water (compared to 16 quarts, or more, in a boiling […]

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Food Safety & COVID-19: Do we need to worry about food packaging?

Stories in the news have prompted consumers to ask questions about the survival of the coronavirus on food packaging surfaces. Laboratory studies have shown that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for up to several days and China recently banned food imports from several counties after finding viral RNA on food packaging. Is this cause for concern? Even as […]

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Have you lost your job? Are you going through financial changes….

The University of Wisconsin of Wisconsin Human Development & Relationships educators have collaborated and created a quick reference guide: TOOLS TO COPE WITH THE FINANCIAL IMPACT OF COVID-19 in English and Spanish.  The guide connects you with quick resources to the following questions: If You… Are about to lose your job or have already lost your job? Know that you will not have enough […]

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Safe substitutions when canning

The safety of the food that you preserve for your family and friends is important to you. The University of Wisconsin Division of Extension supports using up-to-date, research-tested recipes so that you know that the food that you preserve is both safe and high in quality. Here are a few quick tips on changes and […]

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What’s up with condiments?

Whether it’s ketchup and mustard on a burger or mayonnaise used in a favorite potato salad, do condiments need to be stored in the refrigerator?  Looking at the container for your favorite sauce or condiment, you will almost always find the words Refrigerate after Opening. My own home refrigerator has over a dozen such bottles: barbeque sauces, salad dressings, mayonnaise, mustard, hot […]

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Updated: Food and COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their recommendations on food handling during this time of COVID-19.  The recommendations are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean. Highlights of the recommendations are: There continues to be no evidence that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is associated with handling food or consuming food. Coronaviruses are thought […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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‘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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