WPS Farm Show presents the business of farming.

If there was ever a doubt, the Wisconsin Public Service Farm Show, held in Oshkosh, WI, at the EAA grounds, clearly illustrates the myriad considerations farmers in WI and beyond must make in their operations.

Heavy capital investments.wps_logo_print

Appropriate fertilizer applications.

Efficient energy use.

Best practices for maximum crop yield.

Land stewardship.

Although clearly not at the top of the list, concerns about land stewardship and careful treatment of both ground water and surface water resources are rising. Several companies exhibiting at the show have developed products to directly and indirectly address these issues. One of them, USEMCO, offers a digester that is portable. It is a solid solution for reducing manure odor, energy costs, costs for bedding animals, manure application costs, and the potential for manure runoff.  All while increasing the quality of fertilizer, according to Organic Valley’s Wayne Peters.  “The most valuable byproduct of anaerobic digestion (for our farm business) is the enhanced fertilizer we apply on our cropland that we use to grow hay, corn and small grains to feed our cattle,” Peters has said.

Stay tuned for more on digesters, and other products and services that assist with a farm’s stewardship capabilities while also enhancing its profitability potential ….



Kewaunee, WI struggles to find economic/agricultural balance.

Located at one of the gateways to beautiful Door County, WI; sitting quaintly along Lake Michigan; Kewaunee, WI is a not-t00-remote village that is a popular summer destination for boaters and anglers alike. Kewaunee County is also a fertile area for farming. But the economic core of this community of 3,000 had long been the nuclear power plant located just miles outside of town. Local jobs, a steady influx of expense-account supported out-of-town workers to maintain and consult at the facility, and paid property taxes were among the benefits Kewaunee residents enjoyed.

Until 2013, when the plant closed.

“We’re still reeling from the loss of the plant,” says one Kewaunee business owner. “It’s definitely taking a while, and the town is hurting … but we’re getting there.”

Now the village, and indeed the entire county, is struggling to regain economic footing. More than ever, agriculture — not summer recreation — looks to be the driver. And there’s the rub.

In a booming local farm economy, successful waste management is critical. Ground water (see: drinking water), and surface water (see: recreation) contamination is an ever-present concern.

Kewaunee, WI Harbor
Kewaunee, WI Harbor

Such is the issue for Kewaunee, and other communities much like it. This article from WisconsinWatch.org, sheds light on the subject and, although nearly two years old, it is as relevant today as it was then.

Bottom line: what promotes a healthy farming economy can sometimes collide with what promotes a healthy community.

Still, for Kewaunee, agriculture is a key to the area’s renewal. Livelihoods increasingly depend on it. Responsibility for bringing the local economy back to stable rests with everyone.

The science and best-practices are there to foster a happy existence between big agriculture and small communities. It is all possible without the uncomfortable restraints of additional government regulation.

Cooperation by aligning agribusiness and community wellness interests to keep water clean is the key.

ReFreshMKE leads way in clean water, urban shore renewal

Armed with the support of the community, ReFreshMKE is leading the way in making Milwaukee a world-class fresh water coastal city. The target? Milwaukee’s inner harbor, a once robust manufacturing zone that today is riddled with empty, aging buildings as well as some viable businesses.

Milwaukee Harbor
Milwaukee Harbor

By reintroducing wetlands, better overall land management, and other ecology-friendly solutions, a ten-year strategic plan will transform this area into an asset that will significantly boost neighboring communities and current inner harbor businesses.