Wednesday, April 25th


Jackson County USDA Farm Service Agency executive director Julie Dokkestul announced this week that producers who suffered qualifying livestock losses due to the recent blizzard could be eligible for the livestock indemnity program.

"LIP provides livestock producers with a vital safety net to help them overcome the damaging financial impact of natural disasters," said Dokkestul.

LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to an eligible adverse weather event, including losses due to wildfires, hurricanes, floods, blizzards, disease, extreme heat and extreme cold.

“A notice of loss must be filed with FSA within 30 days of when the loss of livestock is apparent," said Dokkestul. “Livestock that die within 60 days of the date of the eligible loss condition may be considered eligible for loss benefits if the animal died because of the eligible loss condition. Producers must also file an application for payment no later than 90 days after the calendar year in which the eligible loss condition occurred.

Ethan Anderson knew he was in the driver’s seat.

The 6-foot-4 senior forward from Black River Falls High School had become a hot prospect in the eyes of college coaches after a strong junior season by lighting up the AAU circuit, then leading the Tigers to a Coulee Conference championship. All the while, Anderson showed his prowess as a pure scorer.



Evaluators saw in Anderson the traits that translate well to the collegiate level — a soft shooting touch, length, and a bounce that allowed him to put down acrobatic dunks in transition. He earned AP All-State honorable mention and WBCA All-State in Division 3, and was the Coulee Conference’s player of the year. He averaged 27.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3 assists per game for the Tigers, who won the Coulee Conference.

He had multiple schools interested in giving him an NCAA Division II scholarship.

High school students from Black River Falls and Melrose-Mindoro got a glimpse of what financial life will be like after graduation during an annual event at Black River Falls High School.

Tiger Credit Union, a division of Co-op Credit Union, sponsored and coordinated Reality Day, which sent BRF and Melrose-Mindoro students through the life-like simulation focused on income, expenses and budgeting.

“Reality Day is such an important event for high school students,” said Stacy Brown, a supervisor of Tiger Credit Union who assisted at the booth focused on purchasing vehicles. “It provides an opportunity to experience the challenges and consequences of the financial decisions they will make as adults.”

Reality Day, held on April 4 this year, gives students a life scenario with a career, monthly income and whether or not they have children and sends them to various stations where they make decisions about child care, housing, clothing, food and entertainment as they maintain and balance their checking accounts.

Melrose-Mindoro’s Academic Decathlon Team won the Division IV State Title March 8 at the Wisconsin State Academic Decathlon competition which was held at the Glacier Canyon Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells.

One hundred eighty students representing the top 20 teams in Wisconsin competed in the two-day state competition. Melrose-Mindoro’s state decathlon team posted the highest score for schools with enrollments below 600 which earned the Mustangs the chance to compete Friday in the Online National Competition for small schools. Melrose-Mindoro scored 39,726 points placing 10th overall in the state competition. Wilmont Union, Watertown and Pewaukee won top honors. Pewaukee was the Division II state champion. New Berlin West placed highest in Division III and Melrose-Mindoro won Division IV. Second place in Division IV went to Marathon High School which scored 37,600.

Each team in the competition is comprised of nine students representing three different grade point divisions: varsity, scholastic and honors.

Two informational meetings will be May 10 in Jackson and Trempealeau counties to discuss the USDA Dairy Margin Protection Program.

Meetings will be 10-11:30 a.m. at the Jackson Electric Coop N6868 County Road F, Black River Falls, and 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Centerville Curling Club W24854 Hwy 54.

UW-Extension will host Mark Stephenson from the UW-Center for Dairy Profitability who will provide information on the changes to the Dairy Margin Protection Program.

The discussion will also cover:

New MPP premium structure and additional updatesMPP vs. Livestock Gross MarginsFSA implementationKnown returns (January-March), and expected returns for 2018MPP decision-making tool and calculations.

There is no cost to attend. Registration is recommended for meeting materials. Contact the Jackson County UW-Extension (715) 284-4257 or Trempealeau County UW-Extension (715) 538-2311 extension 376.

Attendees at the Friends of the Black River April meeting were led in singing the songs of Wisconsin frogs and not one of the lyrics was “ribbet.”

Beaver Creek Reserve naturalist Ruth Forsgren and “frog chorus director” introduced FBR members and their guests to the calls of the state’s various frog species. Forsgren presented the program about frogs and the important role they play in the environment at the April 11 FBR meeting.

She admitted a California frog species does make a call most Americans associate with frogs. Along with that generally accepted frog vocalization, Forsgren said moviegoers and television watchers have also been influence by a Muppet into believing frogs are all the same color.

“Hollywood has messed up our minds a bit,” Forsgren said. “Not all frogs say ribbet and not all frogs are green.”

The human chorus at the frog program “sang” a variety of male frog calls, ranging from a sustained trill to the sound resembling a thumb rubbing a balloon to a thumbnail stroking the teeth of a comb to the clicking of metal ball bearings tapping each other to the sound of woodpeckers at work.