Some of us drift through our lives. Some of us make choices. That's what Ben and Erin Klinkner did. Ben left his family farm for college, swearing to his parents that he'd never milk another cow again. Erin was a city kid dreaming of life as a vet. You know what happened. They're milking cows,... Continue Reading →
The Sparta School District faces many of the universal challenges schools across the nation face: planning for school to open, having contingency plans should students get sick, how to contact trace, how to isolate, figuring out busing, at-home internet access --not all kids have it--and lots, lots more. The school has made detailed plans--and Superintendent... Continue Reading →
Here's the second in my series about cooperatives in Wisconsin. This one is about the Westby Creamery. Did you know that the Westby Creamery is 70% organic? That it sells about $68 million worth a product a year? Not just here in West Central Wisconsin, but across the nation?And, that it's nearly !20 years old?... Continue Reading →
You buy gas there. You buy butter there. (For $1.99 a pound--that photo is all the KwikTrip butter in my mother's freezer). You buy milk, bananas, sandwiches. But you never really think about what KwikTrip is. It's a close-to-the-source food provider. The milk you you buy today was in a cow down the road yesterday.... Continue Reading →
Wisconsin has more than 700 cooperatives--far more than most other states. What is a coop? It's democratic democracy, a model that is about far more about producing a return for investors and instead produces a return for the community. I talk to two experts, Lynn Pitman and Kelly Maynard of the UW Center for Cooperatives.... Continue Reading →
Heidi Prestwood, the new executive director of the Sparta Chamber of Commerce, started the job in the middle of the pandemic.One of her first tasks--helping local businesses get financial aid. And guess who stepped up to the plate first? Local banks. And then the state and the feds.But, we don't talk just about Covid. There's... Continue Reading →
Kayleigh Day, community health educator calmly explains the factors determine the county's severe risk factors--it's more than the number of cases--and how to bring those numbers down.She discusses the Covid 19 compass, the partnership with surrounding counties and the detective work of contact tracing!
2020 had been shaping up to be a pretty good year for Monroe County farmers. And then, Covid 19 hit. Monroe County's UW Extension agriculture agent, Bill Halfman, talks economics, distribution, supply chain and disaster aid. It's looking a little better folks, but just in case, I'm putting a little more half and half in my coffee!
Mike Arenz and his dad, Gene, talk about running a small family business for five generations. they've done it by being nimble, planning ahead when they can and turning on a dime when they can't. And they're following these same basic rules with Covid-19. Mike, for instance, does not consider himself a techie. Nonetheless, when a friend offered to create a virtual tour of the store for him, Mike went for it. And, he turned a small glitch into a marketing campaign.