Monday, December 11th


Trisha Wagner

Jackson County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent

The increasingly important role that immigrant workers play in Wisconsin’s dairy industry is relatively new. On average, dairy farmers started hiring immigrant labor around the year 2000. However, Latino immigrants have worked on the upper midwest’s vegetable farms seasonally since at least the 1930s, and the region’s meatpacking and food processing industries have relied on immigrant workers throughout the 20th century.

Many Wisconsin dairy farms now hire employees versus family labor alone. Wisconsin dairy farmers have increased herd size to pursue a strategy of increased production to make ends meet or increase farm income. Tighter farm budgets may also compel members of farm families to seek off-farm work for a secure income base and/or health insurance.

After several years of getting lower-than-expected funding from the Tribal Law Enforcement Grant, officials from Jackson County have begun to question why the county is getting less than other counties with smaller Ho-Chunk Nation populations.

The Tribal Law Enforcement Grant is provided annually to any county that has a federally-recognized reservation or off-reservation trust lands within its boundaries. The county and tribe must also establish a county-tribal law enforcement program.

The Tribal Law Enforcement Grant has $631,200 to split between the counties that are provided the grant, and in recent years Jackson County has received about $27,000.

“It is a way for us to offset additional costs to provide law enforcement services to, in our case, the Ho-Chunk Nation,” chief deputy Mark Moan said.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department arrested three people  Wednesday morning after officers found 16.7 grams of crystal methamphetamine in their vehicle.

Andrew Young, 30, of White Bear Lake, Minn., Adriana Panek, 18, of Virginia, Minn., and Jonathan Lambert, 20, of Nett Lake, Minn., were charged with possession with intent to deliver along with other drug-related offenses.

Jackson County Sheriff's Department deputies were dispatched to the Comfort Inn and Suites in the town of Brockway near Black River Falls at 3:03 a.m.

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The Hixton Village Board is considering whether to make SGS Excavating fix an issue with the new sewer line on Second Street in the village after they received a report that a portion of the sewer sags.

MSA Professional Services Engineer Dave Krugler is most concerned about grease build-up in the sewer line.

“If we look at the one that he did fix up on Third Street, there was a lot of grease and a lot of other stuff that got held up at that location,” Krugler said.

Jamie Steen, president of SGS Excavating, doesn’t believe there is actually a sag in the line.

“I talked to the guy that took a camera to it and he said there are no sags.

With silica sand demand increasing, the CN Railroad recently added two additional railroad lines across South River Road between Taylor and Blair near the Hi-Crush plant to help reduce blockages at the intersection.

The railroad was previously planning on making the update by Oct. 2015, but the silica sand industry slumped prompting CN to push back the full project. They instead installed one yard lead track south of the mainline track that went to the Blair Yard.

“The WCL (Wisconsin Central Ltd.) has installed the signals but due to decline in the frac sand business the two tracks installation was put on hold. Sand business has now picked up and the WCL is ready to install the additional tracks and relocate the signals into the correct position per the order,” Commissioner of Railroads Yash P.