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Soybean board election underway

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection recently certified three nominees that are eligible to be elected to the Wisconsin Soybean Board. Candidates were nominated during the period that ended June 1. Soybean growers will have until Aug. 15 to vote on the candidates.

• District 3 Nominee -- Kevin Bork, Grand Marsh, Wisconsin

• District 4 Nominee -- Jonathan Gibbs, Fox Lake, Wisconsin

• District 5 Nominee -- Patrick M. Mullooly, Clinton, Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will mail ballots to eligible soybean growers. Growers that have not received a ballot by July 25 can request one by contacting debbie.gegare@wisconsin.gov or 608-224-5116. 

Elected producers will serve three-year terms beginning Sept. 1. The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board is composed of seven producers in seven districts across the state. The board oversees the collection and use of about $2 million in assessment fees paid by Wisconsin soybean producers. The funding is used to support the soybean industry through research, education, and promotion of Wisconsin-grown soybeans. Visit wisoybean.org for more information.

Nominations sought for awards

The American Soybean Association is now seeking nominations for exceptional soy volunteers and leaders. Individuals will be recognized and honored for state association volunteerism, distinguished leadership achievements and long-term significant contributions to the soybean industry. The nomination period is open through Oct. 24.

There are three recognition awards categories.

• Outstanding State Volunteer Award -- recognizes the dedication and contributions of individuals who have given at least three years of volunteer service in any area of the state soybean association operation

• American Soybean Association Distinguished Leadership Award – recognition of distinguished and visionary leadership of American Soybean Association or a state soybean association to either a soybean grower-leader or association staff leader with at least five years of leadership service

• American Soybean Association Pinnacle Award -- an industry-wide recognition of those individuals who have demonstrated the highest level of contribution and lifetime leadership within the soybean family and industry

Nominations will not be accepted by telephone, email or fax. A judging committee will make final selections. Awards will be presented to the winners at the 2023 Commodity Classic. Visit soygrowers.com/about/awards/asa-recognition-awards/ for more information.

Individuals receive grants

The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program recently awarded five individuals with grants.

• Annie Schmitz with The Farmory in Green Bay, Wisconsin, was awarded $18,651 for the project, "Developing Standardized Procedures to Increase Production of Saleable Yellow Perch Fingerlings Year-Round."

• Scarlett Salamone with Loveland Acres Farm in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, was awarded $16,186 for the project, "Community Gardening with Chickens and Littles."

• Christopher McGuire with Two Onion Farm in Belmont, Wisconsin, was awarded $14,756 for the project, "Managing Cropload with the Pollen Tube Growth Model In Organic Apple Orchards."

• Maks Kopish with Maks' Mushrooms in La Farge, Wisconsin, was awarded $3,059 for the project, "Mushroom Farming without Single-use Plastic: A simple, Low-tech Method for Family Farmers."

• Andrew DeVries with Rose 23 Cattle Co in Rosendale, Wisconsin, was awarded $29,626 for the project, "60 Corn."

The grants were awarded as part of the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program’s Farmer Rancher Grant Program, a competitive grants program for farmers and ranchers who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration and education projects.

The focus for each of the grant programs is on research and education. Funding considerations are based on how well the applicant presents the problem being addressed, the project's relevance to sustainable agriculture in the 12-state North Central region, and how well it aligns with the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program's goals, among other factors specific to each grant program. Visit www.northcentralsare.org for more information.

Specialty-crop block grants awarded

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection recently selected 15 projects to receive more than $1.16 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grants.

• The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s Division of Agricultural Resource Management received $25,747.59 to survey the potato-growing regions of Wisconsin for the presence of Potato Mop Top Virus. They also received $67,919.97 to expand on past work to improve honey bee health and reduce hive morality.

• The Ginseng Board of Wisconsin received $99,920 to conduct field research to ensure exported fresh ginseng roots will meet pesticide residue standards established by Taiwan.

• The Savanna Institute received $81,514.28 to stimulate farmer adoption of chestnuts in Wisconsin.

• Two Onion Farm received $41,900 to evaluate cordon trellis system of growing currants and gooseberries as a method to reduce labor needs and improve fruit quality.

• The University of Wisconsin-Madison received $99,868 to improve understanding of how variation in the landscape influences the quality of pollen collected by honey bees; $99,745 to develop an open-source web-based tool for in-season potato yield predictions at the field scale to improve irrigation management and provide dissemination or research results; $97,067 to increase vegetable crop production and quality by reducing competition with weeds through the timely, practical and affordable use of natural plant hormones that enhance crop growth and eliminate early season weeds; $90,000 to explore the microbiome in relation to potato and vegetable crop, soil health and productivity; $92,171 to reduce economic impact of potato tuber necrotic viruses; $82,422 to assess and optimize hot water treatments of cranberry vine cuttings as an environmentally friendly and sustainable option for the management of fruit rot fungi in Wisconsin cranberry marshes; $74,133 to evaluate performance of new table grape varieties by establishing replicated performance trials; $69,489 to perform a two-year study at the University of Wisconsin Hancock Agricultural Research Station to explore use of hyperspectral remote sensing technology to monitor in-season plant nutrient status and predict end-of-season yield of three processing vegetables; and $62,521 to assess impact of attract-and-kill as an alternative management strategy for Japanese beetle to reduce this pest’s population while reducing environmental impact and non-target effects on pollinators.

• The Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association received $83,029 to raise awareness of cranberries and the cranberry industry to produce more demand for the crop through education on the history, current state and future of the cranberry industry.

The recipients were selected from 19 funding requests totaling more than $1.48 million. Grants are awarded to projects intended to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop industries through research, education or market development. Recipients are required to provide 25 percent of the grant funds as a matching contribution. Funding for Specialty Crop Block Grants is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which defines specialty crops as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops including floriculture.

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