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Alice in Dairyland Travel Journal by Zoey Brooks

Alice in Dairyland Travel Journal by
Zoey Brooks


2811 Agriculture Dr. PO Box 8911
Madison WI 53708-8911
Phone (608) 224-5115
DATCPAlice@wisconsin.gov

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Didion Milling & Ethanol Plant
Jul. 22, 2014

During my travels across the state, I always keep an eye out for E-85 fueling stations to fill Ethul up. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go behind the scenes to learn how this renewable fuel source is produced.

I toured Didion Milling in Cambria and saw the transformation from corn kernel to fuel as I walked through both their ethanol and milling plants. Didion is unique in the fact that they mill their own corn products on site in conjunction with their ethanol production.

I was given a corn kernel anatomy lesson to learn about which part of the kernel is used for fuel and which is used for feed. The starch portion of the kernel is highly fermentable and is ideal for fuel production. The remaining fiber, protein, and oil is milled to produce valuable livestock feed, as well as corn products for human use. Last year, the ethanol industry produced roughly 36 million metric tons of animal feed. That's enough to produce 45 billion hamburgers- six patties for every person on the planet.

This industry provides Wisconsin with both fuel and food. Ethanol is cleaner burning than gasoline, its byproduct is a valuable animal feed, and its production supports our local corn growers. You can support the ethanol industry here in Wisconsin by filling up at the pump with E-15, E-20, and of course, E-85


Agri-tourism for Every Season
Jul. 21, 2014

Today marks the end of my media campaign throughout Wisconsin to promote our state's agri-tourism. Ethul and I put on just over 3,700 miles these past two weeks as I visited radio and TV stations across the state.

I highlighted destinations such as petting farms, pick-your-own operations, winery tours, and cheese plant tours as some of the fun ways to get involved with agri-tourism this July.

Beyond this month, there are so many more ways to experience Wisconsin agriculture. Visit a pumpkin patch this fall, cut down a Christmas tree at a local tree farm this holiday season, and buy local produce at farmers markets across the state next spring. Here in Wisconsin, agriculture is a 365-day enterprise, meaning agri-tourism is too!

Remember to check out www.visitdairyland.com to find fun agri-tourism destinations year-round. Make Wisconsin your destination and agriculture your source of fun!


Happy Aquaculture Day!
Jul. 19, 2014

I spent the afternoon in Menomonie at Bullfrog "Eat My Fish" Farm to celebrate Wisconsin Aquaculture Day. Aquaculture is a unique sector of our state's agriculture and it generates $21 million each year for Wisconsin's economy. It also provides local jobs, a great agri-tourism destination, and of course- delicious, fresh fish!

I had the opportunity to throw a line out at the farm and reeled in a nice sized rainbow trout (it may have taken me more than one cast!)The folks at Bullfrog Fish Farm grilled up the catches of the day to make a delicious lunch for all the attendees.

Thank you Bullfrog Fish Farm for hosting this great event to spread the word about aquaculture here in our state and for providing us with fresh, wholesome trout year-round!


Farmers Appreciation Day
Jul. 13, 2014

I traveled to Dodgeville to attend Farmers Appreciation Day, an event dedicated to honoring the farmers of Iowa County. People of all ages attended to visit with neighbors, enjoy a delicious lunch, and say thank you to the farmers in attendance.

Farmers in Iowa County, and farmers all across the state, are working hard 365 days a year to provide food, fuel, and fiber for Wisconsin. Their contribution even goes beyond our own borders to provide agricultural products to countries all across the globe. Last year, Wisconsin exported $3.2 billion worth of agricultural products to over 150 countries. Thank you farmers for putting Wisconsin on the map!

Farms and organizations were also recognized at this event for their conservation efforts. I was able to award Nankey Farms with the "Conservation Farmer of the Year" recognition for Iowa County. Congratulations Nankey family and thank you for all that you do to care for the environment and your community!


Barn Quilts Go Beyond Decoration
Jul. 11, 2014

I've been on the road the past few days visiting radio and TV stations across Wisconsin to talk about Wisconsin's robust agri-tourism industry.

During my visits, I featured Wisconsin's Barn Quilt Project that counties across the state are implementing. This project helps to promote the agricultural heritage of the county, provide education about the art and history of quilting, highlight the architecture and historical significance of barns, and encourage economic development through rural tourism.

I found a beautiful quilt located across the street from my visit to WXOW Channel 19. Look for these 8ft x 8ft quilts as you are driving across the state or visit www.barnquiltinfo.com/map-WI.html to find them in your area!


From the Display Case to the Grill
Jul. 09, 2014

Today I traveled north to Haen Meats in Kaukauna and The Meat Block in Greenville to learn more about local meat shops in our state. With July being Beef Month here in Wisconsin and with grilling season in full swing, it was a perfect opportunity to learn how these shops are a part of Wisconsin's agri-tourism industry.

Both Haen Meats and the Meat Block pride themselves on the quality of their products and their ability to put a face behind the products they sell. Both shops had great layouts where customers were actually able to see what was going on behind the sales counter so that they had a better understanding of how that meat arrived in the display case.

Make sure to visit your local butcher or meat shop to stock up on burgers, steaks, and brats for grilling this July. Thank you to Haen's and The Meat Block for the informative tours!


Apple Field Day
Jul. 08, 2014

I knew an apple a day kept the doctor away, but I learned so much more about this delicious fruit today at the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association's "Apple Field Day" at Lapacek's Orchard.

This field day brings together growers across Wisconsin to share ideas and suggestions for the upcoming season. A big focus today was how to promote the apple industry through agri-tourism. Growers shared ideas such as orchard walks, kids activity days, scavenger hunts, and photo booths, just to name a few.

Apple season will be here before you know it. Plan your next trip to the orchard this coming August-November by visiting www.visitdairyland.com. Thank you Lapacek family for being such gracious hosts and for all that you do to share your agricultural message with others!


Taste, Tour, & Travel through Wisconsin
Jul. 07, 2014

Today kicks off my exciting two weeks featuring Wisconsin's agri-tourism industry. From winery tours, to petting farms, to pick-your-own operations, there are a variety of ways to share in Wisconsin's agriculture industry.

Agriculture touches every single person in our state, but not everyone is able to experience agriculture hands on. That's where agri-tourism comes in. Agri-tourism allows others to get an up close view and gain a deeper appreciation for where food, fuel, and fiber originate in Wisconsin.

If you have questions about how Wisconsin farmers raise animals and produce food, agri-tourism is the perfect avenue to expand your knowledge and have your questions answered straight from the source.

Check back here to find fun ways to explore Wisconsin agriculture this July!


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Contact the Alice In Dairyland Program at:
2811 Agriculture Dr. PO Box 8911
Madison WI 53708-8911
Phone (608) 224-5115

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