||Alice in Dairyland Travel Journal by Kristin Olson
Alice in Dairyland Travel Journal by
2811 Agriculture Dr. PO Box 8911
Madison WI 53708-8911
Phone (608) 224-5115
Jams and Jellies, Salsas and Sauces!
Dec. 20, 2013
Whether adding exceptional flavors to baked goods and meals, or sharing thoughtful gifts with friends and neighbors, try Jams and Jellies, Salsas and Sauces that are Something Special from WisconsinTM.
• Bertram's Jams, Jellies and More offers an extensive lineup of handmade, artisan jams, jellies and preserves that are inspired by family recipes. The products come in old-fashioned jars, perfect for simple gifts! Another great business providing delicious handcrafted jam, spices and rubs is Raikowski Farm. Their raspberry jalapeño jam started as a product made from surplus peppers on the farm and has now become a best seller!
•If you’d like to add a bit more zest to your h’ors devourers, check out Savory Accents. Specializing in chili jam and oil, all chili peppers for the products are grown right here in WI. Serve the jam over cream cheese on a cracker for a savory snack. More recipes are available here.
•Step outside of ordinary during your holiday gatherings and football parties with sweet salsa from Sanchez Specialties LLC. Just as the slogan proclaims, "First you taste the sweet, then you feel the heat!" The salsa is perfect for every taste bud, with mild, medium and hot flavors available.
•Complement your meats with delicious sauces from Mad Dog & Merrill; they’re also perfect for your favorite grill master. Try Da Works sauce: fresh tomato, minced onion, Midwest kraut and flavorful mustard blended in each bottle. It’s even tasty with shrimp cocktail! Pleasant's Best Sauces adds interest to any tailgate, too, with locally-sourced, delicious sauces and condiments. From Messy Stuff BBQ to Baled Hay Relish, their products are a great match for any brat or burger!
For more great ideas, somethingspecialwi.com is the place to go! With only a few days to go until that Christmas feast, check back tomorrow morning for Wisconsin-inspired cooking and entertaining ideas.
Wisconsin-made Coffee, Tea & Wine
Dec. 19, 2013
Looking for a simple but sophisticated host or hostess gift? Or perhaps something to share at a holiday gathering? Something Special from Wisconsin has countless coffees, teas and wines that are sure to please!
•Roasting coffee for over 20 years, Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters offers over 100 types of specialty coffees, including over 40 flavored and seasonal varieties, and many gift basket options, too. Try their #1 seller, Highlander Grogg, a unique blend of coffee with caramel, butterscotch and hazelnut flavoring. Coffee from Berres Brothers can be found at grocery stores and shops throughout the Midwest!
•If you’re looking for the perfect gift for tea lovers, Four Elements Organic Herbals is the way to go. Four Elements has been growing herbs organically for 26 years right in the Baraboo Bluffs. Their delicious tea is available in dozens of flavors, and the packaging also makes a perfect stocking stuffer.
•Looking to serve up some delicious Wisconsin wine this year? From the award-winning wines at Cedar Creek Winery and Wollersheim Winery, to the great bistro and gift baskets at Northleaf Winery to the fun flavors produced with Wisconsin-grown grapes at Vetro Winery, the options are endless.
To see how and where to purchase these and many other Wisconsin products, head to somethingspecialwi.com. Check back tomorrow for ways to add flavor to your meals and gifts with jams, jellies, sauces and salsas!
Something Specia from WI™ Shopping Guide
Dec. 18, 2013
With just one week until Christmas, are you struggling to find the perfect gift for that hard-to-shop-for person on your list? Something Special from Wisconsin™ (SSfW™) has you covered! Check back here each day leading up to Christmas Eve to find dozens of gift ideas and inspiration for everyone on your list! You can also check out my Facebook page for links to product pages. I’m kicking off my (SSfW™) gift guide with unique gifts that showcase the diversity of Wisconsin agriculture. (SSfW™) offers unique items for people – and pets – of all ages!
•It’s not too late to deck the halls. Sending loved ones a real Christmas wreath made by Wreaths by Chalann is healthy for the local economy and environment, and it helps to support the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers, too!
•For breakfast lovers on your shopping list, check out Lonesome Stone Milling, LLC and Riveredge Nature Center for great gift box sets that include real Wisconsin maple syrup and delicious pancake mixes.
•Bear Crossing Foods, LLC adds flavor to any fish, poultry or vegetable dish, and the packages are perfect gifts for mail carriers or neighbors!
•If you have friends or family with Milwaukee roots, check out HANmade Milwaukee Souvenir Bandanna. The bandanas, pillows aprons and more are all milled in the U.S. and display beautiful maps of Milwaukee’s waterfront.
•Don’t forget about your favorite pets! Dogs and birds alike will enjoy handmade bones, biscuits and bird feeders by Annie’s Bone Appetit.
The diversity of these products exemplifies the diversity of Wisconsin agriculture, and it’s just the beginning of a long list of fantastic products which are truly something special from Wisconsin! More to come tomorrow!
Hillcrest Elementary - Waukesha
Dec. 18, 2013
This afternoon, I headed to Waukesha to visit with 67 4th grade students at Hillcrest Elementary. The kids explained to me that they are learning about different Wisconsin industries right now, so it made perfect sense for 'Alice' to make a visit and speak to them about agriculture, one of Wisconsin's largest industries.
My new friends were very surprised to learn that Wisconsin cheesemakers work hard to produce more than 600 different varieties, types and styles of cheese here in our state. I explained to them that as 4th graders, it would take them until 6th grade if they were to try a different type of the 600 varieties every single day!
Thank you to the students and teachers for allowing me to be a part of your studies!
Turner High School Visit - Beloit
Dec. 17, 2013
Cornelius and I headed south to Beloit this morning for a visit with students in Mrs. Brusberg's Family and Consumer Science classes.
I had the pleasure of speaking to three different classes of high school students about the diversity of agriculture in Wisconsin, as well as the important role that dairy plays in our daily diets. Students enjoyed learning about the nine essential nutrients found in milk, as well as the benefits of drinking milk, specifically chocolate milk, verses other sugary beverages following a game or workout.
The students had some great questions about dairy products and Wisconsin agriculture as a whole. Thank you so much to Mrs. Brusberg and the students in her first, second and third hour classes for being great participants and allowing me to share my story!
WSAW 7 visit with Diana Normand
Dec. 16, 2013
It's hard to believe, but the days of 2013 are quickly coming to an end, and the New Year will be here before we know it. I enjoyed my final interview segment at WSAW 7 for 2013 with Diana Normand today at noon.
Diana and I discussed that it's not too late to squeeze in Something Special from Wisconsin™ in last-minute shopping trips this holiday season, and year-round as well. You can watch our entire interview here here!
Ronald Reagan Elementary - New Berlin
Dec. 13, 2013
Today was all about 4th graders as I visited with the students at Ronald Reagan Elementary in New Berlin, near Milwaukee.
Throughout the day, I spoke with four different classrooms of 4th grade students and presented the Growing a Healthy Wisconsin presentation, which uses SMARTboard technology. The students were very excited to learn about different aspects of Wisconsin agriculture; being in a more urban area, many were surprised to see just how many different technologies dairy farmers in our state use to milk cows.
Thank you to the teachers and staff at Ronald Reagan Elementary for inviting me to your classrooms and for your support of Wisconsin's $59 billion agriculture!
December Tour of Clark County
Dec. 12, 2013
I headed north today for my monthly visit to Clark County. This time, I had the privilege of exploring the diversity of businesses in small-town, Dorchester, WI.
The tour started with a trip to Badger Built Homes, a Wisconsin retailer of Liberty Homes. One of the nation’s leaders in manufactured housing, Liberty homes has a long-standing tradition of building high-quality modular homes. Homes and structures are built in a controlled, indoor environment, so obstacles such as weather don’t affect the construction or quality of finished homes. Craftsman, many of whom have been around for dozens of years, can build homes year-round to meet demand and customer satisfaction. Many of the homes, about 80% in fact, are shipped internationally to our Canadian friends to the north. I was able to tour the facility and see first-hand homes being made, from the first to the final stages, before they are sent to customers all throughout North America.
Next, after a short trip across town, I was ready for a tour at Meyer Manufacturing. For over 65 years, this third-generation business has been providing superior farm equipment and service to customers throughout the U.S., and internationally, too. The business began in Alvin Meyer’s garage when he casually repaired equipment and dabbled in building machinery. He eventually invented the first self-unloading forage box ever built, and the company grew from there. Aside from Wisconsin, today, Meyer Equipment can be found in the U.S., Canada, Central America, Europe and Japan. They strive to tailor products in order to meet the needs of operations of all sizes and scales.
I enjoyed a great tour of the manufacturing facility and was able to see different equipment being built, from spreaders to forage wagons. For each, the process begins with a few pieces of metal, and uses advanced technology to build state-of-the-art equipment and machinery. It was neat to see the end products being power-washed, painted and ready to be delivered to happy customers all over the world!
Before leaving Dorchester, I made one final stop just down the road to Bob’s Dairy Supply. For over thirty years, Bob’s has been serving dairy farmers throughout Central and North Central Wisconsin. The company sells and services brands including Delaval, Germania, Universal and Mueller. Additionally, they provide farmers with wide variety of other products and services, including a full line of chemicals and sanitation products, and even farm, commercial and residential heating solutions with wood, corn and pellet burning furnaces. With approximately thirty trucks on the road, the company strives to meet the demand of their clients, no matter the day or time.
After my time in Dorchester wrapped up, I headed to Curtiss for a tour of the brand new Abbyland facility, located just hundreds of feet north of Highway 29. Since its humble beginnings in the 1970’s, Abbyland, Inc. currently has over 1000 employees working in 8 divisions. Abbyland Foods manufactures a wide variety of cooked meat products in state-of-the-art continuous oven lines in addition to their traditional fresh and smokehouse sausage products. The Curtiss facility is the newest for Abbyland and specializes in pork products. I was joined by members of the Clark County Economic Development Board, their families and friends for an exclusive tour of the facility. We were able to see the brand new office building and moved on to where the pork was being processed. Much of the pork travels from a local meat market to the Abbyland processing facility, which is kept at a constant 40-45 degree temperature. While there, we saw spicy breakfast patties being cut, weighed and packaged before heading to the Southern United States and being enjoyed by consumers.
After finishing a fantastic tour at Abbyland, I headed up the road to the Abbyland Family Restaurant for the Clark County Economic Development Board meeting. There, I spoke to the group about the importance of agriculture to our state, as well as Clark County. I also shared with guests some of the knowledge I’ve gained during my trips to Clark County and the important role that Alice in Dairyland plays each year for the state of Wisconsin, as well as the exciting task Clark County has of hosting the finals for the 67th Alice in Dairyland selection process. Thank you so much to all of the wonderful businesses involved for welcoming me and sharing your stories, and to the Clark County Economic Development Board members for making me feel so welcome!
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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